Jul 28, 2014; White Sulpher Springs, WV, USA; New Orleans Saints guard Ben Grubbs (66) during training camp at The Greenbrier. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints are heading into their second preseason game against the Tennessee Titans and we haven’t seen several of the starters and newly acquired players on both offense and defense play yet.
It’s to be understood that there are some players that don’t need extensive playing time in these “meaningless” exhibition games. Veteran players like Drew Brees and Jairus Byrd would fall into this category. Other players need time to rehab injuries like Ben Grubbs, Jahri Evans, and Kenny Stills. So which players should we be worried about?
FB Erik Lorig
Lorig has been missing from Saints training camp for the last two weeks. He has an undisclosed injury that is preventing him from returning which is why fullback Austin Johnson got all the snaps last week against the Rams. Head coach Sean Payton is infamous for being tight-lipped on the injury-status of his players, especially in the preseason.
Consider however, that the Saints have brought in veteran fullback Greg Jones, tight end Richard Quinn (who has since retired) and are rumored to be trying out tight end Nic Jacobs at fullback. Lorig being out this long, with this little information, with this much movement from the Saints means he could be looking at missing some extensive time.
When the Saints signed Champ Bailey they expected some kind of production out of him. He was slowed by an apparent ankle injury about a week ago and appears locked to return to team drills this week. Payton has remarked that they “don’t need to it all the time” to feel comfortable about keeping him on the roster. I think they still need to see more of “it” to feel comfortable though.
Victor Butler has been missing for the same amount of time as fullback Erik Lorig. He also has an undisclosed injury keeping out of training camp. The New Orleans Saints believe they have a good shot to make a run this year and to make a run, they can’t have any dead weight.
The Saints haven’t seen what Butler can do yet. If they can’t see what he can do, there is no way to evaluate him. His time in a Saints uniform maybe up if this latest mysterious injury has him sidelined for an extensive period.