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Saints - Buccaneers: Jimmy Graham Will Not Play

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers won't have to worry about New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham, who did not travel to Tampa.

Chris Graythen

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been secretly working on a game plan to stop Saints tight end Jimmy Graham, but that won't be necessary: the New Orleans Saints have decided to leave Graham in New Orleans, according to Pro Football Talk and Adam Schefter.

Jimmy Graham hasn't been that good this year, with just 10.1 yards per catch, but he's been an important part of the Saints' receiving corps, which has struggled to produce. Without Graham, the Saints lack a real matchup nightmare. Marques Colston has not looked his usual explosive self while Lance Moore has been productive, but has only 19 catches through five games. Drew Brees is completing just 58.9% of his passes for 7.3 yards per attempt and has not been his usual dominant self.

The Bucs had been planning to use Mark Barron to stifle Jimmy Graham, but now the Bucs can be more flexible on defense. That doesn't mean they'll be able to stop Drew Brees, but Graham's absence will most certainly make that more likely.

UPDATE: The New Orleans Saints have activated linebacker Jonathan Vilma, which means he will most likely play against the Buccaneers.