July 29, 2012; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Charles Brown (71) works with the blocking sled during a training camp practice at the team
Charles Brown is a very important piece to the success of the New Orleans Saints next season with Jermon Bushrod gone and rookie Terron Armstead the only other viable option at left tackle in front of Drew Brees.
Brown is off to a false start so far this preseason as he’s been unable to participate in OTAs due to an undisclosed weight lifting injury. Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com was the first with the scoop:
"Saints Coach Sean Payton didn’t specify as to the nature of Brown’s injury, only saying that it occurred in the weight room during the offseason.The Saints were short on tackles at the end of last season after Zach Strief sat out with a groin injury and Brown was sent to injured reserve with a right knee injury. Rookie Bryce Harris was also sent to injured reserve late in the season."
The news should be very concerning to Saints fans. As Terrell pointed out, Brown struggled with injury issues toward the end of last season and has during the entirety of his time with the franchise.
Practicing in Brown’s place during the first session was Jason Smith, the man who has bounced around the league after failing to live up to expectations. He’s a bust in the utmost sense, but at least the coaching staff is getting an early look at how he could potentially contribute with the team.
We’re firm believers that Armstead, despite being a rookie, is probably the best option at left tackle for the Saints in 2013 thanks to his elite athleticism. As the preseason wears on we’ll get a better idea of how things will shake out at the left tackle position with Armstead.
Right now, Brown is certainly not helping himself any, but it’s early. Less depth along the line during camp is a bad thing considering how thin the position has been hte last few seasons, so the sooner Brown heals up, the better.