New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro said online that he will miss Sunday’s home game against the San Francisco 49ers with a concussion.
“Mad I can’t play this weekend,” read a message on Vaccaro’s Instagram account. “We will take care of business.”
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported earlier in the day that Vaccaro would sit out the contest against the Niners (6-3) and could miss the following week’s game at Atlanta as well. At his Monday meeting with the media, Saints coach Sean Payton refused to discuss Vaccaro’s status and called a question about the player’s health “dumb.”
Vaccaro’s helmet hit Cowboys tight end Jason Witten’s knee as the Saints rookie made a tackle late in the third quarter. Witten gained 19 yards on the play; after the collision, Vaccaro left the contest, which New Orleans won 49-17 to improve to 7-2.
Vaccaro also suffered a concussion in the Oct. 27 win at home over Buffalo when he collided with cornerback Keenan Lewis in an attempt to break up a pass. That injury didn’t cause him to miss a game.
Vaccaro has played the vast majority of the snaps on defense. He has 56 tackles (41 solo), one interception and one sack, and he is considered a contender for the NFL’s Rookie of the Year award.
The Saints suddenly may be thin at safety. Roman Harper has been inactive since after Week 2 with an injured knee, and Malcolm Jenkins missed the Cowboys game and the Nov. 3 loss at the New York Jets with the same.
Aside from Harper, Jenkins and Vaccaro, the Saints have Rafael Bush and Isa Abdul-Quddus at safety. Chris Carr plays a hybrid cornerback-safety role.