The Saints are designating Sheldon Rankins as their player to return off of injured reserve this season, coach Sean Payton told reporters (Twitter link via Mike Triplett of ESPN.com). Rankins, a first-round pick in the spring, was placed on IR in August when he suffered a broken fibula.
Prior to the injury, Rankins was expected to compete with Nick Fairley, Tyeler Davison, and John Jenkins. Instead, the Louisville product has been busy rehabbing. Now, he is finally getting closer to making his NFL debut. When the Saints bring Rankins off of IR, that will open up a 21-day practice window in which they can evaluate him. If he is not activated within those three weeks, he can not be brought back this year. Rankins is expected to being practicing today.
After topping the Panthers 41-38 over the weekend, the Saints will travel to Kansas City this week to take on the Chiefs.
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