Saints anxiously await the glorious return of Wil Lutz in 2022
By Kristen Wong
This offseason, the New Orleans Saints are eagerly anticipating the returns of their starting quarterback, star wide receiver, and one certain special teams stud.
On Monday, kicker Wil Lutz announced on Instagram that he was officially cleared to return to action after a roughly year-long recovery from injury. Lutz had surgery for a core muscle injury before training camp last year, but complications caused him to miss the entire 2021 season.
Lutz can now step onto the field and fully participate in Saints’ practices and training leading up to the 2022 season, thus ending the thankfully short chapter of NOLA’s frustrating kicker woes.
One word describes how Saints fans feel about Wil Lutz’s impending return: relief.
New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz is officially cleared to play in 2022
In Lutz’s absence, NOLA went through four different kickers in 2021: Aldrick Rosas, Cody Parkey, Brian Johnson, and Brett Maher.
Collectively, that group of kickers missed seven extra point attempts and converted 83.3 percent of their field goal attempts, making just one of four field goal tries outside of 50 yards.
By comparison, Lutz blows them all out of the water: Lutz has hit 142 of his 164 career field goals for an 86.6 percent completion rate and boasts a 97.2 percent extra point completion rate as well.
The Saints’ hodgepodge of mediocre kickers cost the team at least two wins last year, and those two wins very well could have sent NOLA into the playoffs.
With their trusty Pro Bowl kicker back in the lineup, New Orleans has one fewer roster issue to worry about, though Lutz’s health will continue to be monitored throughout the offseason.
2022 is shaping up to be something of a comeback year for the Saints, what with the exciting returns of Lutz, Winston, Thomas, and more, and each player can make a tremendous impact in this upcoming season of redemption.
While Winston and Thomas still have some ways to go in their recoveries, Lutz has been given the green light and will hopefully be out there blasting balls between the uprights in no time.