The spring hasn’t been kind to the New Orleans Saints’ offensive line, which is now down 40 percent when it comes to Drew Brees’ bodyguards.
It’s arguably the most important 40 percent — the line’s leader, center Max Unger — who was lost to offseason foot surgery. Now veteran left tackle Terron Armstead, who tore his labrum in minicamp, will miss anywhere from four to six months of action.
Veteran guard Zach Strief confirmed the injury came during individual drills when Armstead was simply hitting a heavy bag.
Just from a calendar standpoint, the Armstead injury is obviously the more concerning loss because, in the best-case scenario, he will miss a large chunk of time in the regular season.
The Saints remain hopeful that Unger will be back and ready to go by Week 1, but spending an offseason centered on rehabilitation instead of preparation is never optimal for any player, even a veteran who understands what it takes to play in the NFL.
The next-man-up theme is a popular one in the NFL, almost a necessary path forward due to the injury rate in this league. However, it is also a hollow rallying cry rooted in optimism and little else.
Starters in the NFL are starters for a reason. Teams don’t give $65 million extensions to players (which New Orleans gave Armstead last offseason) they don’t think highly of.
New Orleans is lucky enough to have more options than most in a similar situation. Veteran Khalif Barnes as well as first-round pick Ryan Ramczyk, the spoils from the Brandin Cooks trade to New England, could fill…
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