Saints News

Payton: Max Unger expected back Week 3 of preseason

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Oct 4, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints center Max Unger (60) during overtime of a game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Cowboys 26-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 4, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints center Max Unger (60) during overtime of a game against the Dallas Cowboys at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints defeated the Cowboys 26-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sean Payton made it official that the Saints expect Max Unger back in the lineup during the preseason.

Max Unger was originally projected, by the ever-misleading Ian Rapoport, to miss the early portion of the Saints regular season. The news sent Saints fans into a frenzy. Turns out, as always, Rapsheet was just a bit off.

According to Payton, Unger injured his foot early in the offseason. Dr. Anderson diagnosed a “space” relating to the Lisfranc, and hoped that the foot would heal with rest. When Unger returned and the injury had not yet healed, Unger went into surgery.

So, as many feared, the injury is Lisfranc-related. But it doesn’t sound like a very serious injury to the area. If Unger is projected back by August as Payton says, there’s every reason to believe he can fully recover for the season.

If anything, Unger’s absence in the ealry weeks may actually prove a blessing. It will give the Saints valuable evaluation time with backup centers Jack Allen and Cameron Tom. We’ll see how the roster shakes out. At this

At this point I’d be surprised to see Senio Kelemete slide in at center in camp and preseason. Yes, Kelemete is the best option if Unger does miss some regular season time. But the Saints like his availability as a backup guard or tackle. They likely don’t want to throw too much on his plate. And Allen and Tom both lack experience. If the Saints are to enter the season with a question-mark hanging over Unger’s head, they’ll like to know how their backups look.

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