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COVID-depleted Saints no match for Dolphins in sloppy 20-3 loss

The Saints will hope to have more players back when they face host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

NEW ORLEANS — Ian Book’s first NFL start was one to forget.

Saints fans were eager to see what their team’s rookie QB could do, but just three plays into the game some of them were wondering when Taysom Hill would be back. 

Book’s first NFL drive ended in a pick-six, setting the tone for a 20-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins.

The COVID-depleted Saints never found their offensive rhythm. Book completed 12-of-20 passes for 135 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked eight times Monday night while playing behind an offensive line missing both Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk, as well as backups James Carpenter and Jordan Mills.

The Saints didn’t convert a single third down.

In total, 22 Saints players and four coaches missed the game due to COVID-19. Fourteen players were elevated from the practice squad to flesh out the roster on Monday.

The Saints defense put up a good fight, despite missing key players in DeMario Davis, Kwon Alexander, Malcolm Jenkins and Kaden Elliss. They held the Dolphins to just one field goal in the first half and kept Tua Tagovailoa to under 200 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception on the night.

Cam Jordan had two sacks and Marshon Lattimore hauled in the team's lone interception.

The Saints can still make the playoffs, but they'll need to win their next two games to stay in the hunt.

The Saints will hope to have more of their roster back when they face host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, Jan. 2, at 3:25 p.m.

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