NEW ORLEANS — Mike Nolan returned to the starting lineup Sunday after missing the last three games with a concussion, and the Saints will have the option to keep three quarterbacks on the roster.
The team announced Nolan will start against the Atlanta Falcons after his limited return from a concussion suffered Oct. 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Coach Sean Payton said the team will be comfortable with Nolan on the bench, but he added, “He will have to do his part and he will have a great opportunity to make plays when he is able to do so.”
The return of Nolan comes as the Saints are trying to make up ground on the Atlanta defense that has allowed an average of 27.8 points per game.
The Falcons have given up 30.0 points per contest.
The Saints have allowed the NFL’s sixth-most passing yards per game (273.8) and sixth-fewest touchdowns (23).
New Orleans is 2-0 with Nolan at the helm, including a 41-13 victory over Atlanta in Super Bowl XLV.
Nolan led New Orleans to a 23-10 win over the Seahawks in Super, but it was his third game in which he had at least one start.
The last was the 2013 NFC Championship Game.
The former LSU quarterback started the last four games of his career with New Orleans and had a career-high four touchdown passes against the Saints in the 2014 opener.
The 27-year-old Nolan is 6-6 with a 3.63 yards-per-carry average in his last four starts.
The Saints have scored at least 24 points in six of the past seven games.