Saints' Ben Watson won't play against Rams due to appendicitis

Saints TE Benjamin Watson announces retirement after this season

Drew Brees will be without one of his most seasoned targets in Sunday’s NFC championship game. 

Saints tight end Ben Watson will not play against the Rams due to an ongoing bout with appendicitis, ESPN first reported Friday. 

NFL Media said Watson has been hospitalized but is hoping to avoid surgery. That could allow him to play in the Super Bowl if the Saints advance. 

Watson, 38, has already announced his plans to retire following the season. 

He had 35 receptions for 400 yards and two touchdowns during the regular season and caught one pass last weekend against the Eagles. 

A first-round pick by the Patriots in 2004, Watson is in his 14th NFL season.