2:35pm: More testing revealed bad news for the rookie. Penning suffered a ligament tear in his injured foot, and Rapoport adds surgery will be necessary (Twitter link). The player the Saints eyed as a long-term left tackle will not be beginning his season on time and will be out indefinitely.
9:28am: It sounds like Saints first-round pick Trevor Penning is going to miss some time. The offensive lineman suffered a “bad case of turf toe” during last night’s preseason finale, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
Penning is set to undergo an MRI to determine the severity of the injury. Rapoport hints that the offensive tackle will miss at least a game or two to start the season. We’ll likely get more clarity on his roster status (and whether he’ll land on injured reserve) once the Saints cut down their roster to 53 players.
The offensive tackle got into 10 snaps last night before suffering the injury. According to Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com, Penning suffered the injury when tight end Juwan Johnson accidentally hit the back of his leg during Mark Ingram‘s one-year touchdown run. Penning walked to the sidelined before getting carted to the locker room.
The Northern Iowa product was selected by the Saints with the 19th-overall pick in this year’s draft, and he was expected to replace the departed Terron Armstead in the starting lineup. The rookie made headlines during training camp when he got into fights with teammates for three consecutive days. Pro Football Focus showed him taking a major step in New Orleans’ second preseason game, but the latest injury may have cost him his early-season opportunity to snag the starting gig. James Hurst has been listed atop the Saints depth chart at LT throughout the preseason, and while the veteran is dealing with his own foot injury, he’s a good bet to earn the starting nod with Penning temporarily out of the picture.