The New Orleans Saints have a couple of rookies in linebacker Rufus Johnson and receiver Kenny Stills who are making headlines as we heard toward training camp for some strange reasons.
Aaron Wilson, a Ravens writer for the Baltimore Sun broke the news on Twitter than both Johnson and Stills, along with Eric Martin, were all headed to the non-football injury list:
Saints placed linebacker Rufus Johnson, linebacker Eric Martin and wide receiver Kenny Stills on the non-football injury list
— Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) July 20, 2013
This was then followed up by Larry Holder of NOLA.com, who claims there is nothing to worry about:
No need to panic about Stills, Johnson, Martin landing on non injury list. I'm told all three players should be ready for training camp.
— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) July 20, 2013
All of this was trumped by Rotoworld, which states that all three failed physicals:
The active/NFI list is the same as active/PUP; players can be activated from the list at any time in camp. Stills is a fifth-rounder who’s unlikely to see significant snaps this season, but he does factor into the Saints’ long-term plans. Johnson and Martin are ‘tweener 3-4 outside linebackers who figure to see time on special teams if they make the roster. Despite failing their physicals, all three players should be ready at some point in training camp.
So what does all of this mean?
Apparently no one really knows.
Expect Stills and Johnson back for camp at some point like Holder suggests. It’s still unknown if they actually failed a physical, but the safe bet is them eventually getting it together and passing.
Stills could play a major role after the midpoint of the season if injuries occur. He’s set to do battle with Joe Morgan, who obviously has a big advantage, for playing time in the slot. Johnson is a wildcard to make the roster, but with how injuries have struck linebacker already, it wouldn’t be a stretch to see him make the final 53 based on potential alone.
Right now this is a smaller story, but it’ll morph into a much bigger one should these two continue to have issues. We’ll update you with the latest as it happens.
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