The Saints lost another backup tight end to a leave of absence.
Jason Vander Laan has opted out of the 2020 season, according to the NFL’s transactions report. Fellow tight end Cole Wick‘s decision to opt out was reported earlier Tuesday.
Their departures leave the Saints with only four tight ends — Jared Cook, Josh Hill, Adam Trautman and Garrett Griffin.
Vander Laan signed to the Saints’ practice squad Oct. 23 as an insurance policy while Jared Cook was out with an ankle injury. He earned a promotion to the 53-player roster Nov. 25.
Vander Laan played two games with one start, returning one kickoff for 8 yards. He played 21 offensive snaps and 21 on special teams before going on injured reserve with a head injury.
He also has spent time with the Jets, Colts, Panthers and Patriots.