Ben Watson unlikely to play in NFC Championship Game
METAIRIE- 15 year NFL veteran tight end Ben Watson has been officially ruled as questionable for Sunday's NFC Championship versus the Rams.
In his second stint in New Orleans, Watson has caught 35 passes for 400 yards this season, but has been dealing with appendicitis this week and will not play on Sunday.
The former Georgia Bulldog missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, before returning to practice on Friday.
Watson announced in December that the 2018 season would be his final one. The 38-year-old came into the league back in 2004 and had his first run with the Saints from 2013-2015.
"That's a tough position to play as long as he's played. It's a collision position. So when you see tight ends play for a long period of time that's the exception it's not the norm because they're dealing with obviously the noise and the running game but they're also catching balls in traffic," said head coach Sean Payton. "You're taking a lot of different traits and you're putting them into a veteran player and I think that that benefits our team."
That veteran leadership has made a difference for this young team.
"He is a pro's pro. He's an extremely dedicated worker. He is one of those guys that provides wisdom and leadership," said Payton.
Wide receiver Keith Kirkwood will also not play this weekend after being ruled out with a calf injury he suffered against the Eagles.
The Saints and Rams will kickoff on Sunday at 2:05 in New Orleans.