Saints’ OL Patrick Omameh ‘prepared for anything’ as he’s the latest to fill in after injuries

Patrick Omameh had played in one complete game in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome over his seven-year career: a close loss in 2014 while he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

That changed Sunday.

Omameh, in his first year with the Saints as a reserve offensive lineman, trotted out to the field in the first quarter after starting left tackle Terron Armstead left the game with an ankle injury. 

"You have to always be prepared," Omameh said. "That's the role that you play if you're not a starter. The expectation is you have to get the job done. If you're on the field, you know you have to do your job. I'm just glad we were able to get that win. Keep looking forward and be prepared for anything because you never know what the future holds."

The Michigan product stayed in for the remainder of the game, playing 56 of the team's 66 offensive snaps, and chipped in on special teams as well for six snaps.

One of those snaps: Wil Lutz's 33-yard game-winning field goal as time expired.

With respect to decision making, Saints coach Sean Payton thinks 3 heads are better than 1
With respect to decision making, Saints coach Sean Payton thinks 3 heads are better than 1
"We knew it was crucial," Omameh said of holding his own on the line on that play. "Once again, the expectations were to do your job. So you get up to the line and just hunker down. They brought the heavy rush from the right side. So those boys had a man's task and they got it done."

After Lutz's kick went through the uprights, the 327-pound Omameh jumped up in celebration with Lutz, calling New Orleans' kicker, "the man."

Omameh and the Saints players weren't the only ones celebrating. Omameh made sure to take in the Superdome's ambiance all game long.

Sure, he'd been on the sideline for all the Saints games this season. But this was different. He was consistently playing meaningful snaps.

"Anybody who has ever played here will tell you that it's one of a kind," Omameh said. "The fans were incredible as they always are and that energy helped push us over the edge to get the W."

Saints coach Sean Payton has been impressed by what Omameh's been able to do this season, working on scout team and filling in here and there in games.

Omameh has played in most of the Saints' games this season, tallying 17 total offensive snaps prior to the Carolina game, some of which were in the Saints' jumbo package as the sixth lineman, and has been in on assorted special teams units.

"He’s done a good job," Payton said. "He's improved. He's someone that we really noticed throughout the course of the season, even when he's getting reps on the scout team. He's a real good athlete and he hung in there.”

Saints' right tackle Ryan Ramczyk commended Omameh's performance, too, saying "Pat did a great job filling in."

Before coming to New Orleans, Omemeh played for Tampa Bay (2014), Chicago (2015), Jacksonville (2016-17, 18) and the New York Giants (2018). He hadn't played on that many snaps since last season with Jacksonville.

The linemen were put on alert two weeks ago when starting left guard Andrus Peat left the Atlanta game with a forearm injury. Will Clapp played the rest of that game and Nick Easton has filled in for Peat in the interim.

But Ramczyk isn't discouraged by the injuries, because that's the game they signed up for.

"Guys go down all the time," he said. "We have total faith in our backups."

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Neil S. Schwartz

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