Saints’ James Hurst looks ready to go for Week 1

James Hurst, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
James Hurst, New Orleans Saints (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Saints’ James Hurst should feature in the team’s starting lineup in Week 1 against the Atlanta Falcons as long as everything goes according to plan.

The veteran left tackle suffered a foot injury during the Saints’ joint practice with the Green Bay Packers a little less than a month ago. Out of caution, Hurst sat out for the next two preseason games but was a full participant in practice on Thursday.

He told reporters that “things felt great” and, barring any setbacks, he should be given the green light to start in Week 1.

NOLA Saints can breathe a sigh of relief over left tackle James Hurst

Hurst was initially competing against rookie Trevor Penning for the left tackle job, and after a strong showing in the first preseason game, Hurst rightfully claimed a starting role in 2022. He mainly served after as a backup to Terron Armstead last year.

Penning recently suffered a torn ligament in his foot and is reported to be out indefinitely, so as of now Hurst stands as the team’s only starting-caliber left tackle with little depth behind him.

Heading into the season, Hurst should take starting snaps while unproven O-line talents Landon Young and Lewis Kidd continue to refine their skills.

Time will tell if Hurst can prove to be a consistent starter or if injuries will derail his 2022 season. At this stage, however, news of Hurst’s triumphant recovery should raise team morale, especially after the C.J. Gardner-Johnson trade and Marcus Maye arrest.

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Getting Hurst back is a key factor in the team’s offensive success in 2022.