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Saints safety Marcus Maye suspended, will miss week 3 game against Packers

New Orleans will be without one of its starting defensive backs when they play in Green Bay on Sunday.

New Orleans Saints v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers return home this week, and on Sunday they will play their first home game of the 2023 regular season against the New Orleans Saints. New Orleans has the 5th-ranked scoring defense in the NFL and a top-ten passing defense, but they will be without one of their starting defensive backs for the week three matchup.

On Wednesday, the NFL announced that safety Marcus Maye has been suspended for three games after he was found to be in violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. The suspension appears to follow the conclusion of a legal case that Maye faced after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence in early 2021. According to ESPN’s Katherine Terrell, Maye accepted a plea deal for that case, with the agreement involving probation and the suspension of his driver’s license.

Maye played in and started ten games for the Saints last season, recording 60 total tackles with one forced fumble. He was off to a strong start in 2023 as well, recording an interception and a sack while not missing a defensive snap over the Saints’ first two games.

With Maye out, New Orleans will need to look down the roster to find a starting safety opposite Tyrann Mathieu, and the depth chart on the Saints’ website lists J.T. Gray as Maye’s backup at safety. A career special teamer, Gray made the Pro Bowl and was named first-team All-Pro in that capacity in 2021 but has played just over 100 snaps on defense since entering the league in 2018. However, Lonnie Johnson, former Houston Texan, and Jordan Howden, an undrafted rookie from Minnesota, may also be candidates to start in Maye’s place.

In addition to this weekend’s game, Maye will also be out for the Saints’ two following games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots.