Week 16: Saints, Steelers – Observations from the (not so) cheap seats

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Observations: Part two

Mark Ingram
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 23: Mark Ingram #22 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates a touchdown during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

The offensive line injuries have reached the critical point. Ryan Ramczyk had to miss a few plays after being rolled up on early. Larry Warford limped through the entire game after being banged up. Max Unger was playing six days removed from coming out of the Carolina game with a concussion. The injury that’s plagued Terron Armstead for over a month, a torn pectoral muscle, was re-aggravated in the game Sunday. Jermon Bushrod was out with a hamstring injury.

Andrus Peat played three different positions on the offensive line Sunday. When Ramczyk went down, Peat flipped out to right tackle and Will Clapp subbed in at left guard. Ramczyk returned and Peat went back to his spot until Armstead went down. He then slid outside and Clapp again filled Peat’s spot. Armstead tried to return but was playing with only one arm, and his injury played a part in a Brees sack.

Peat has been a jack of all trades, master of none though his play at guard has been solid. And he’s also playing through a shoulder injury. He’s one of those guys who makes a big difference on this team.

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If you’re wondering, yes, this is a cause for concern. Armstead is among the top 2-3 tackles in the game when he’s healthy. He’s not going to be healthy for the rest of this season. He had a fairly major injury and came out and reinjured it. When muscles rip, the healing process takes considerable time. While there might be speculation that he returns in the playoffs, there is no guarantee we won’t see a repeat of that injury.