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NFL injury update: Chris Olave expected to play vs. Detroit Lions

The New Orleans Saints are expected have first-round pick Chris Olave against the Detroit Lions.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints Andrew Nelles-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints are beat up, but it sounds like they’ll have an important piece to their offense against the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Per both Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport, Saints receiver Chris Olave is expected to play.

Olave suffered a concussion last week against the Atlanta Falcons, but it appears he has cleared protocol after a couple of limited practices this week paired with a full practice on Friday.

The 2022 first-round pick has game-changing ability. He leads the team with 63 catches for 771 yards and three touchdowns. In the past two games alone, Olave has 13 catches for 208 yards and a score.

That said, the Saints are missing some other key weapons on offense that may allow Detroit to center their focus on Olave and try to take him out of New Orleans’ game plan. All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas is on injured reserve, and Rashid Shaheed—who ranks second on the team in receiving yards—is also out with a thigh injury.

However, the Lions pass defense has struggled in recent weeks, even with their opponents suffering from injury. Last week, the Packers were missing Aaron Jones and Dontayvion Wicks and still managed to throw the ball well. A few weeks back against the Chargers, Los Angeles was missing Mike Williams and Joshua Palmer, and Keenan Allen still had a day.

In other words, the Lions are going to have their hands full with Olave, and they’ll need a much better performance out of their defense on Sunday.

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