Kristian: Ruud in the mix as Saints prep for Texans
The Saints were forced to trade for veteran linebacker Barrett Ruud this week. It came after injuries decimated the linebacker position. "He's 29, so I think he's got a lot of football ahead of him," Asst. Coach Joe Vitt said. Ruud took a physical today and should be on the field tomorrow. Ruud is an experienced veteran that can provide good depth and versatility. Ruud can play middle linebacker and the weak side linebacker position.
Lofton: Saints middle linebacker Curtis Lofton has never missed a regular season game over his four-year NFL career, and says his high ankle sprain won't keep him out of the season-opener on September 9th against the Redskins. "It's still preseason, once week one rolls around, I will be ready to go," Lofton said.
The Saints have lost three linebackers in the last week. Chris Chamberlain went down with an ACL injury, and David Hawthorne is on the shelf recovering from meniscus surgery.
Lofton says it's just bad luck right now. "We're going to be OK, Dave will be fine, you know I will be out there any day."
I think you can exhale, Lofton will be on the field for that all-important season opener.
On the mend:
Saints running back Darren Sproles returned to the practice field for the first time in two weeks. A sore knee kept him on the sidelines after the Hall of Fame game against Arizona. The Saints do a really good job of managing injuries to the point where they don't overdo it with a player to quickly. Vitt said if this preseason game (Houston) were a regular season game, #43 would play. Sproles' absence has given rookie Travaris Cadet his chance to impress the coaches. There is no doubt that the offense is just a little bit more dynamic with Sproles in the backfield.
Defensive end Turk McBride (ankle) also returned to the practice field today for the first time in more than two weeks. Defensive back Marquis Johnson missed practice today because of swelling in his knee. Johnson is battling for the 3rd or 4th cornerback spot with Johnny Patrick, Corey White, and Elbert Mack.
Humber and Wilson:
You can expect to see a lot of linebackers Ramon Humber and Lawrence Wilson this Saturday night against the Texans. The injuries to the linebacking corps will give the Saints a chance to evaluate some of the younger guys at the position. Depending on how quickly Ruud grasps the system, you could also see him in the middle against Houston.