After New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham suffered what appeared to be an ankle injury during Sunday’s 30-27 loss to the New England Patriots, the All-Pro was forced to leave the game with nearly an entire quarter left, and never returned to the game. Graham finished the game without a catch for the first time since his rookie year of 2010, as the Patriots kept him at bay in mostly man-to-man coverage by Pro Bowl cornerback Aqib Talib.
Initially, it looked as though it was some kind of injury to his ankle or calf . But according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, the Saints believe there may have been damage done to Graham’s knee:
Graham, per a league source, is getting an MRI to determine the extent of the injury suffered during Sunday’s loss to the Patriots. In the final year of his contract, Graham has retained the injury risk while the Saints have, as they did with Drew Brees two years ago, delayed getting a deal done for the kind of compensation Graham wants.
Graham is in a contract year, and if he were to miss a significant amount of time, it may lead the Saints to franchise tag him this offseason, while Graham opts to play under it next year in hopes of playing a full season and getting a contract he believes he deserves.
Graham entered the game as the leading receiver in the NFL, with 37 receptions for 593 yards this season coming in to Sunday’s game. He’d also caught six touchdown passes this season, second only to Wes Welker.