But aside from the safety out of Alabama, the list of connections between Sunday’s sides isn’t as long as it once was.
One former Patriots player resides on the active roster in New Orleans. One former Saints player resides on the active roster in Foxborough. Both began September on the practice squad. And both have gone between positions during their careers.
Here’s a glance heading into the 1 p.m. ET kickoff at Gillette Stadium.
Lynn Bowden Jr., wide receiver — Bowden spent the duration of the 2022 regular season on New England’s practice squad, seeing 14 offensive snaps as a standard elevation before reverting. A futures contract followed for the past Paul Hornung Award winner, consensus All-American and first-team All-SEC selection out of Kentucky. Bowden was then waived by the Patriots in May and signed with the Saints in June. Going unclaimed at the league’s 53-man deadline in August, he was soon promoted from the practice squad to the active roster. The 25-year-old wideout has appeared in two games since then for New Orleans, seeing 16 snaps on offense and one target. Entering the NFL in the third round of the 2020 draft, Bowden made his initial stops with the Las Vegas Raiders and Miami Dolphins. He saw action in 10 contests as a rookie, totaling 211 receiving yards, 32 rushing yards and 32 passing yards prior to missing all of 2021.
Ty Montgomery II, running back — The Saints agreed to terms with Montgomery in the spring of 2020. A stint on injured reserve followed. But the veteran was back to eclipse the century mark on the ground in January’s season finale — and then on a one-year deal. Montgomery appeared in 20 games during his time in New Orleans, starting four. Over that span, the Stanford product accounted for 145 rushing yards, 122 receiving yards, 116 kickoff return yards and 10 tackles on special teams. A former consensus All-American in his own right, Montgomery scored the lone Patriots touchdown in his lone game last season before landing on IR. The 30-year-old began September on New England’s practice squad and was signed to the 53-man roster on the eve of the opener. He has since handled one carry, two catches and two kickoff returns, including a long of 43 yards, while logging 11 snaps on offense and 63 snaps on special teams.