ATLANTA — New Orleans Saints rookie cornerback Marshon Lattimore wasn’t one hundred pc wholesome for his first matchup towards one of the best broad receiver within the NFC South, Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones.
Lattimore returned for Thursday’s recreation after an ankle damage pressured him to overlook the earlier two video games, however the ankle appeared to be much less of a problem than an obvious sickness. Though he performed nearly all of the defensive snaps, Lattimore left the sector a handful of occasions to inhale additional oxygen on the Saints bench.
After the sport, a 20-17 Falcons victory, Lattimore admitted to being “somewhat bit” sick, and fellow Saints cornerback Ken Crawley stated he noticed Lattimore coughing up blood.
It doesn’t matter what he was coping with, Lattimore was principally efficient whereas shadowing Jones all through the sport, however in a loss, the stellar rookie wasn’t happy together with his effort.
“Each time I hand over one catch, I am mad,” Lattimore stated.
In man protection, Lattimore stated he gave up three catches within the recreation, so he referred to as his efficiency “common.” The catches Lattimore allowed to Jones got here on a slant, a hitch and one alongside the sideline. Jones turned the slant right into a 38-yard achieve, however Lattimore slipped earlier than he might deal with the receiver.
Lattimore had one interception whereas masking Jones, who completed the sport with 5 catches for ninety eight yards. It is a high-quality stat line for Jones, however contemplating his potential to take over a recreation, the Saints have been superb with these numbers.
“He is top-of-the-line receivers within the league,” Lattimore stated. “I attempted to ensure he (wasn’t) the rationale they win as a lot as I might. He is probably the greatest. It’s what it’s.”
And Lattimore is already wanting ahead to overlaying Jones once more when the Saints have their rematch with the Falcons on Dec. 24.
“I need to go towards the perfect,” he stated. “That is going to make me higher.”
After enjoying the previous two video games with out him, the Saints have been glad to have their prime cowl man again on the sector, particularly towards Jones.
“Nearly as good of a season as he is having, when you’ll be able to put him on the market on a No. 1 man and know he will compete and do his factor each down, meaning the world,” security Kenny Vaccaro stated. “I used to be pleased with him.”
Lattimore has already dominated matchups towards prime NFL receivers Mike Evans and Brandin Cooks this season, and coaches trusted him sufficient to have him journey across the area with Jones any time the protection was in man protection.
Fellow cornerback Sterling Moore, who entered the sport at occasions when Lattimore was getting oxygen, stated it is spectacular to see a rookie who’s prepared to battle with the most effective receivers within the league.
“There is no shying away from anyone on this league for him,” Moore stated.
Lattimore stated it was robust sitting out the previous two video games, and he hoped to contribute to a win when he returned Thursday. And with an additional break earlier than the subsequent recreation, he ought to have time to recuperate from his ankle and his sickness.
“I am simply glad I am again on the market,” he stated. “I am…