The NFL mandated that all teams be down to 75 men by 3 p.m. Tuesday, and to the regular season limit of 53 as of this coming Saturday. To that end, the Saints made several roster cuts, as well as placed linebacker Will Smith on injured reserve.
Smith's is the latest debilitating defensive injury, and his loss stings for a number of reasons.
Head coach Sean Payton said: "You know it's disappointing, and I know he's frustrated because he's put a lot of work in this off season to get, number one, his weight where he wants it, and then the position change [from defensive end to linebacker]. And he's handled all that well. So, it's frustrating and I'm disappointed for him."
Quarterback Drew Brees echoed the coach's sentiments about the 31-year-old Smith: "Really tough. He's been a mainstay since I've been here. I think he's the longest tenured Saint, 2004. He's meant so much to this team. He's been there every snap. And I can't remember a game that he's not been in. As durable a guy as there is. Unfortunately, you suffer an injury like that on kind of a freak play. Man, you hate to see a guy like that go down."