Report: Max Unger may return by the preseason
By Ty Anania
Max Unger may have fully recovered by the start of the preseason.
After reports of Max Unger’s foot surgery sparked widespread panic among the Saints fan base, we’ve got a reason to take a breath. ProFootballTalk reported that Saints sources say Unger expects to be back by the preseason.
Early speculation had Unger projected to miss the early portion of the season. With no clear backup at center to take his place, this caused a fair bit of alarm. And while calmer voices cautioned that there was not yet enough information to speculate about missing any time, this blog admittedly got caught in the currents.
This is obviously great news for the Saints. If Unger does not in fact miss any time, it will solidify this offensive line as one of the best in the league. With the committee of Ingram, Peterson and Kamara running behind it, the Saints running game figures to be the best it’s been in recent memory. And all that with Drew Brees under center.
But while the news is promising, the injury highlighted a lack at the backend of this roster. While there is solid depth at guard and tackle, the main backups at center are UDFAs Jack Allen and Cameron Tom. Senio Kelemete would likely have been the starter if Unger does miss time, but he’s most valuable as a backup G or T.
We don’t know how the Saints feel about Allen and Tom. They likely wouldn’t like Tom to come in and start, considering they let him fall out of the draft. But Allen had a year in the system and had upside coming out of college. But assuming the Saints aren’t entirely comfortable with either as a starter, chances are they’ll look to add some insurance in case Unger doesn’t recover.