Coach Sean Payton confirmed that Sheldon Rankins‘ injury is not season-ending, Jeff Duncan of The Times Picayune tweets. Still, he said it is too early to speculate on how the team will handle his injury with regards to the roster.
The early tests indicated that Rankins suffered a broken fibula. If that’s the case, the believe is that Rankins is a candidate for the IR-DTR list, which would allow for a mid-season return (or, in Rankins’ case, a mid-season debut). Payton would not speak to whether Rankins would be slotted for the IR-DTR, but that should be the resolution for the first-round pick if he is to be sidelined for a significant amount of time. The early word is that the defensive lineman out of Louisville is likely to be sidelined for about six to eight weeks.
Rankins’ absence could spark the Saints to look into defensive line help on the open market. On Tuesday, Josh Katzenstein of NOLA.com suggested that Cullen Jenkins, Henry Melton, C.J. Mosley, and Sammie Lee Hill could be players worth consideration. Randy Starks could also be an intriguing name for New Orleans.
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