Lack of practice for Saints LB Pete Werner is a growing concern

Pete Werner, New Orleans Saints. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
Pete Werner, New Orleans Saints. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

The New Orleans Saints haven’t been seeing much of second-year linebacker Pete Werner on the field lately, and Werner’s continued absence could create some issues in the defense.

The 2021 second-rounder entered training camp with a groin issue which has reportedly been bothering him for the last week and a half.

Werner has been doing some work by himself on the sidelines but hasn’t been a full participated in team sessions, and his absence has understandably drawn scrutiny from the media.

Werner is heading into a pivotal Year 2 as the team hopes he can grow into a starting role alongside veteran Demario Davis. Given his spotty camp performances, however, Werner may need more time to develop and could be sitting on the bench more than expected at the start of the season.

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Head coach Dennis Allen has previously spoken highly of Werner:

"“He’s a good player. He plays well in the run game, passing game, he’s a good athlete, he can run. Those are some skill sets we want to utilize.”"

Yet until Werner takes the much-needed jump in his career, he can’t be depended on as a consistent starter at the linebacker position.

In his rookie season, Werner started eight games and played in 15 total, recording a respectable 62 tackles and a single quarterback hit. With the departure of Kwon Alexander, it’s no secret that the Saints are expecting him to dominate and win a starting job in the defense.

New Orleans recently signed former Washington linebacker Jon Bostic and has several young talents on the roster including Zack Baun and Chase Hansen, but Werner remains the frontrunner for the WILL linebacker role.

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It may be too soon to make a huge deal out of Werner’s noticeable absence, yet his health and availability status is something to keep an eye on in these coming weeks.