As of right this moment in time the impact on the Saints season is close to zero. So far missed time has come from veteran rest days, and what are reportedly minor injuries to veteran Delvin Breaux and rookie Marshon Lattimore. Now to be clear, when I say the impact is practically zero I am speaking only to this moment in time with the information that is available to us. As of today we know that Delvin Breaux has missed a few days, but has been dressing and doing some light work on the sideline, him being held out is largely precautionary, and frankly as long as he plays in the preseason he’s the one corner I’m not overly concerned with missing practice snaps (even though that is FAR from ideal). What is most concerning, and what has many fans in a bit of a state of panic is the injury to Lattimore.
We don’t know for sure what is wrong with Marshon, however a report from Nick Underhill of The Advocate suggested that the injury was a knee sprain. This is in a way good news as the fear was that the injury was either something much worse, or the same type of hamstring injury that plagued him in college. Its certainly true that any injury to Lattimore is FAR from being good news, but as corner is one of the absolute hardest positions to transition to the NFL level with it’s not as devastating as it could be. My expectation has always been for Lattimore to have to earn his spot, which means until he takes the job away (or injury does) PJ Williams and Delvin Breaux will be the corners on outside to start the season. The two veterans should give more confidence than a fresh out of college rookie to start the season, especially with how tough the Saints early schedule could be. At least for me personally my expectation has always been for Lattimore to work his way into the starting lineup, and to take one of those spots by mid-season or so. Rookies need time to practice and adjust their game to the NFL level, and that is especially true of corners.
The bad news is of course this injury means Lattimore will miss this all so important practice time, however the upside is it may be possible for him to play in the team’s first preseason game. If Lattimore doesn’t miss any game reps, and due to the rest is healthy throughout the rest of camp then this injury means nothing in the long run, especially when as it currently stands the Saints have more ready to start veterans to fill his position. What would be concerning is if this is a start of a trend for the rookie…or worse….the Saints are once again devastated by a rash of injuries to the corner position.