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Jimmy Graham expected to miss 2-3 weeks after bye

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Jimmy Graham's time off will extend beyond the New Orleans Saints' bye week.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on GameDay First on Sunday that the tight end will miss a few weeks after the bye, "likely two or three," with a shoulder sprain, according to two sources informed of the situation.

The news comes after coach Sean Payton said Graham was "doing fine" this week and noted that the bye came at the perfect time.

With the Saints' offense lacking explosive plays through five games this season, missing Drew Brees' favorite target will not help lift the malaise in which New Orleans is currently stuck.

Graham has 34 receptions for 376 yards and three touchdowns on the season. Brees might miss most the mismatches the tight end creates in the red zone after Graham had 16 touchdowns last season on a bum foot.

The Saints signed tight end Tom Crabtree this week as insurance in case Graham missed time. Benjamin Watson and Josh Hill will also fill in on tight end snaps, but expect Payton to supplement Graham's absence by going to more multiple receiver sets.

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