Unfortunately, New Orleans Saints rookie left tackle Trevor Penning is going to miss at least the first half of the 2022 season after tearing a ligament in his foot in the final preseason game. That means that James Hurst, who was already going to be the starter, doesn’t have as solid of a backup now.
Let’s take a look at two options to back up Hurst now that Penning is on the shelf for at least the first half of the 2022 regular season.
It’s surprising to see Eric Fisher still sitting on the free agent market. Sure, the former No. 1 overall pick nine years ago didn’t live up to that status throughout his career but the guy is a good left tackle. He’s not great, but he’s good.
Fisher spent the first eight years of his career in Kansas City and won a Super Bowl with them during the 2019 season where he served as the starting left tackle. He was released following the 2020 season due to an injury he sustained in the AFC Championship Game and landed with the Colts for the 2021 season.
Fisher finished his lone year in Indianapolis with a respectable 68.2 PFF grade yet he’s still waiting for a team to sign him. The Saints don’t need Fisher to be a starter but it’s hard to deny that he’d be one of the best possible backup options they could have.
This one feels like the most realistic option because Landon Young is already on the 53-man roster. A sixth-round pick out of Kentucky just last year, it’s clear that the Saints like Young and view him as a solid backup option.
Young initially was slated to back up Ryan Ramczyk at right tackle but this injury forced him to be the backup on the other side of the line. Maybe if Ramczyk has to miss time, Young is the first one to replace him over rookie UDFA Lewis Kidd but if Hurst has to miss time, Young is going to be the one who slides in at left tackle.
Saints fans didn’t get to see a ton of Young last year, as he appeared in just 10% of the offensive snaps before getting injured and having to miss the final seven games. Even still, if anything happens to Hurst before Penning is ready to return to the field, Young is going to be the one playing left tackle.
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I’d still love to see the New Orleans Saints sign Eric Fisher, even with Landon Young on the roster but they’re probably content with the top option they have at the moment.