With Erik Lorig hurt, Saints sign fullback Greg Jones

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — With fullback Erik Lorig sidelined by a leg injury, the Saints signed an 11-year veteran at the position off the street.

Greg Jones spent his first 10 NFL seasons with Jacksonville, who chose him out of Florida State in the second round of the 2004 draft, and last year with Houston before signing with the Saints on Wednesday and participating in an afternoon walkthrough.

Jones has played in 131 games and started 72, carrying the ball 272 times for 913 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also has caught 73 passes for 471 yards and three touchdowns.

Last season, he played in all 16 games for Houston, blocking for a rushing attack that posted 100 or more yards eight times. In Jacksonville, he was the lead blocker for running backs Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, who combined for four Pro Bowls from 2007-11. Jones was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2007, when Jacksonville was No. 2 in the league in rushing at 149.4 yards per game.

Lorig left the Saints scrimmage Saturday early at The Greenbrier resort and hasn’t returned. He joined the Saints in free agency after four seasons in Tampa Bay.

Lorig was seen as one of the best players available in free agency at his position. He had shown his blocking ability and caught passes consistently out of the backfield at camp, but it is not known how long he may be out.

Aside from Jones and Lorig, another fullback on the roster is Austin Johnson, who was on and off the Saints practice squad in 2013 and handled Lorig’s reps at practices this week.

In other transactions, nose tackle Tyrone Ezell and outside linebacker Marcus Thompson cleared waivers Wednesday after being cut Tuesday.

Wide receiver Steve Hull, who was hurt and waived, cleared waivers and is now on the Saints’ injured reserve. He can remain there or be released with an injury settlement, after which he would be free to pursue a spot on another team.