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Saints Lose First Round Pick Sheldon Rankins To Broken Leg

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The New Orleans Saints suffered their first major injury of training camp as first-round pick Sheldon Rankins went down with that’s being diagnosed as a broken fibula.

Rankins was selected with the 12th overall pick in April’s NFL Draft from Louisville, and he was supposed to give New Orleans some much needed toughness up front.  The Saints finished 2015 ranked 31st in the NFL against the rush, and the 6-foot-2, 305 pound defensive tackle was supposed to immediately make the team respectable up front.

“We’ll get an update and we’ll keep you posted, but we’re trying to get the reps in and obviously you never want to see a player go down,” Saints head coach Sean Payton said after practice. “Hopefully the news is good.”

If there isn’t any other damage to the leg, Rankins would be a candidate for the IR/Designated to return list which would allow him to miss the first eight weeks of the season and then the team would be able to activate him without losing a valuable roster spot.

Rankins injury will likely mean more reps for young players such as Nick Fairley, John Jenkins and Canadian rookie David Onyemata, who was a virtual unknown but turned heads at the East-West Shrine week of practices back in January.

There is some optimism that the Saints could tread water without Rankins if he can come back for the second half of the season.  Only three of New Orleans first eight opponents had a winning record in 2015 and two of those three games will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

 

 


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.