NFL Wire News

Saints confirm pec injury to OLB Galette


The Sports Xchange

METAIRIE, La. — The New Orleans Saints’ defense lost one of its top pass rushers when outside linebacker Junior Galette suffered a pectoral injury last week.

After his team’s organized team activity (OTA) practice session Wednesday, Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed Galette incurred an injury that could sideline him for an extended period — possibly the entire 2015 season.

Fox Sports first reported the injury June 4, shortly after Galette sat out an OTA practice. Payton didn’t talk about Galette that day, but he usually doesn’t discuss injuries in the offseason because he isn’t required to do so by NFL rules.

Payton said Wednesday that Galette, who collected a team-leading 10 sacks last season after recording 12 in 2013, is waiting on a final opinion to determine his course of treatment.

“Right now, he’s working through, and he’s waiting on … and we’re waiting on a final opinion,” Payton said. “We’re just wanting to make sure we’ve got the right opinions and the right direction to go.”

The NFL Network reported last week that Galette, who signed a four-year, $41.5 million contract extension last season, was considering surgery. That option would force him to miss training camp and likely would sideline him for the first part of the regular season — if not the entire year.

Losing Galette for any amount of time would be a huge blow for a defense that ranked 31st in total yards allowed last season, partly because it couldn’t get pressure on opposing quarterbacks consistently. New Orleans is looking to rebound this year with a rebuilt unit.

The Saints might have a fallback at the outside linebacker spot after signing former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer earlier this spring. Spencer battled injuries the past two seasons, but he recorded 12 sacks in 2012.

The Saints are also high on two players they selected in the draft this spring who could help out if they can develop quickly enough.

Second-round pick Hau’oli Kikaha had 19 sacks last season at Washington, and fifth-round pick Davis Tull, a former Tennessee-Chattanooga star, is being converted to outside linebacker from defensive end. Tull, however, is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

–Running back Mark Ingram, who was not present in the two previous OTA practices open to media, was back on the field Wednesday.

Payton said earlier that Ingram was dealing with an ankle or foot issue, adding that the team was holding him out only as a precautionary measure.

Not working Wednesday were wide receiver Marques Colston, cornerback Brandon Browner, nose tackles Brodrick Bunkley and Lawrence Virgil, defensive ends Akiem Hicks and Glenn Foster, and cornerbacks Brian Dixon and Damian Swann.

Tull and safety Jamarca Sanford worked on the side, and inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe was limited. Quarterback Ryan Griffin and defensive end Cameron Jordan were excused from practice, Payton said.

–Payton said the Saints filled out their scouting department with three new scouts, but he declined to divulge the names Wednesday.

However, multiple media outlets reported the team hired former New York Jets director of player personnel Brendan Prophett to serve as a college scout.

Prophett was released last month by Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan, who said during an interview with WFAN Radio that Prophett was a victim of transition.

Prophett spent 15 seasons with the Jets, including eight as the director of pro personnel during which he ran the day-to-day operations of the department. He also was assistant director of pro scouting, a pro scout, a regional scout and a college scouting assistant during his time with the team.

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