Lost in the shuffle of Saturday’s roster cutdown madness was left tackle Terron Armstead‘s inclusion on the Saints’ initial 53-man roster. Armstead suffered a torn labrum in June and was facing a four-to-six month recovery timeline, but New Orleans didn’t place him on the physically unable to perform list, which would have required a minimum six-game absence to begin the season.
Armstead is still expected to miss several games, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, but he clearly won’t be sidelined for as many as six contests (or else New Orleans simply would have kept him on PUP). Head coach Sean Payton hinted last week that Armstead was ahead of schedule, and allowed that the veteran blindside protector might sneak onto the Saints’ active roster.
New Orleans will roll with first-round rookie Ryan Ramczyk at left tackle until Armstead is able to return to the field. Health has never been a strong point for Armstead, who’s missed 14 games over the the past three seasons. But when he’s right, Armstead has consistently ranked as a top-15 NFL left tackle per Pro Football Focus, which gave him an excellent 90.6 overall grade in 2015.