The Saints have been bitten by the injury bug once more, losing veteran linebacker Will Smith to a torn knee ligament suffered in the preseason win over Houston Sunday night.
The 31-year-old Smith was injured while teammate Cam Jordan was recording a quarterback sack.
The injury adds to the already debilitating number of guys who are hurting at the linebacker and defensive end positions. Victor Butler and Kenyon Coleman are both already out for the season. Jonathan Vilma is recovering from a knee procedure. Martez Wilson and Junior Galette are trying to come back from injuries of their own -- a dislocated elbow and a leg issue, respectively.
Mike Triplett covers the Saints for our partners at Nola.com. He said, "We've seen Martez Wilson back on the practice field. I don't know that he'll be ready to play in the final preseason game. But, he's about close. I assume he'll play in week one. Junior Gallette, we haven't seen back practicing yet. But I know he's been getting closer. He's been running around a little bit more. If not week one, soon after. But boy, they need those guys healthy as quickly as they can get healthy."
Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery: He is the best. But time waits for no man. What's Smith's future as a player look like at age 31?
Triplett observes, "I think Will Smith will probably be in an NFL camp again. But he's certainly going to be a huge question mark going forward. It's a shame. For a lot of these guys... it never ends on your timetable."
If there's any silver lining to all this, it may be found right there on the Saints roster.
Triplett concludes, "I do think it can be spun forward in one sense. The youth movement that they were on the verge of starting within a year or so starts a little earlier now. It's time for Junior Galette to step up. A ton of pressure and expectations are going to be heaped on him. The same with Martez Wilson. And, maybe some young backups there also. I compared it to the defensive end position where they were counting on Kenyon Coleman. He went down, and we saw Glenn Foster and Tyrunn Walker and Akiem Hicks all step up. The Saints can only hope that's the immediate reaction for the rest of the team."
Meanwhile, the Saints have reportedly done a deal to shore up the spot... At least through the Miami game Thursday night.
Outside linebacker Parys Haralson, according to the San Jose Mercury News, comes over in trade from San Francisco. Terms of the deal are unknown.
Haralson, a former fifth-round draft pick, didn't play last season with a torn triceps. He was a full-timer from 2009 through 2011.
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