METAIRIE, La. —With only three days to go before the Saints host the 49ers in a critical NFC game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans is looking at having only three healthy cornerbacks on the active roster.
Both Corey White (right knee) and Elbert Mack (concussion) missed their second day of practice this week.
That means as of now, New Orleans will have only Jabari Greer, Patrick Robinson and Johnny Patrick as healthy cornerbacks.
That could be a problem for the Saints, who must find a way to 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree (47 catches, 541 yards, 5 touchdowns), tight end Vernon Davis (35 catches, 487 yards, 5 touchdowns), receiver Mario Manningham (31 catches, 343 yards, 1 touchdown) and receiver Randy Moss (16 catches, 266 yards, 2 touchdowns).
Thursday, acting head coach Joe Vitt said safety Malcolm Jenkins could move down to cornerback if the team needs.
Jenkins entered the NFL as a cornerback and was moved to safety in his second season. He said would be all right with the move if needed.
“There’s a couple of times in practice where we’re short on practice and every now and then I’ll take a couple of reps at the corner or possibly the nickel,” Jenkins said. “I’m definitely comfortable with it.”
Mack’s timeline for return could be as simple as passing the league’s concussion protocol. White’s return, on the other hand, is a little less clear. His injury has never been fully described and no timeline has ever been given.
“It’s just a safety thing,” Mack said. “You want to make sure when I do get back out there, I’m 100 percent. I don’t want to get back out there and not be 100 percent because now, after your second concussion, it’s almost like an automatic IR. We’re just trying to keep my best interest in mind.”
Meanwhile, right tackle Zach Strief (left groin) was limited for a second consecutive day. Bryce Harris has taken all the first-team snaps this week and said he’s ready to play if Strief can’t.
Also not practicing were defensive end Junior Galette (left ankle), linebacker Ramon Humber (illness) and offensive tackle Charles Brown (right knee).
Running back Darren Sproles (left hand) was full once again.