In an off-season full controversy, suspensions, and fines the New Orleans Saints have taken another blow as they have lost promising rookie defensive end Greg Romeus likely for the season
Romeus tore his ACL and MCL in his left knee during a recent practice as he was running down the field. No contact was involved during the injury.
Originally a seventh round draft pick during the 2011 NFL Draft, Romeus saw his draft stock plummet after multiple injuries during his senior season at the University of Pittsburgh.
Billed as a potential first-round pick, knee and back injuries nearly derailed his NFL career entirely until New Orleans took a gamble on drafting him.
He sat out the entire 2011 season while “recovering” from an ACL injury in his right knee, and he was hopeful to make the Saints final roster this year.
Romeus, and coaches, admitted that he needed work but he was praised for his work ethic and natural ability as a pure pass rusher.
With questionable depth at defensive end, and new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s need to rush the quarterback with the front four, Romeus likely could have been a contributor this season.
Starting right defensive end Will Smith is of course facing a four-game suspension for his so called “leadership” role during Gregg Williams pay-for-performance system the last several years.
Behind Smith on the depth chart the Saints officially list Junior Galette and Tyrunn Walker.
But there is Cameron Jordan, Turk McBride, Romeus, and Braylon Broughton listed at left defensive end.
The Saints have also moved outside linebacker Martez Wilson to defensive end, a move they claim is not permanent yet, but one that has garnered the speedy linebacker high praise.
But what of Romeus? Where does he go from her after three consecutive years of battling injuries?
New Orleans will likely place him on the injured reserve list, but are likely to give him another chance to make the team next year.
Romeus was signed to a four-year contract last year for $2.08 million with a $50,000 signing bonus – he doesn’t cost much — which helps as a reason to keep him around.
The Saints are still high on him and as long as he can make a full recovery should stand a decent shot to suit up for the team in real game action for the 2013 season.