Saints TE Juwan Johnson To Undergo Foot Surgery

Juwan Johnson suffered an injury during the Saints’ minicamp, as first reported by Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football. The veteran tight end is facing notable absence as a result.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the ailment – a foot injury – will require surgery. Both Schefter and Underhill add the team is hopeful Johnson will be available by the start of the regular season, but at a minimum he will be sidelined for the bulk of training camp. His procedure will take place next week.

New Orleans’ tight end depth chart would be dealt a blow if Johnson were forced to miss time in September. The 27-year-old has received 124 targets in the two seasons following his transition from receiver to tight end. He has totaled 876 yards and 11 touchdowns during that span, and a notable offensive role should await him when he is healthy.

Johnson signed a two-year extension worth just over $12MM last offseason. That move took away the need for an RFA tender and included $8.5MM in guarantees. Another $2MM is available via incentives, but missed time would obviously hurt the former UDFA’s chances of earning them. As a pending free agent, Johnson’s value could also be affected depending on the length of his recovery and his production when back on the field.

The Saints have Taysom Hill and Foster Moreau as other options the tight end spot. The former is in line to once again serve in a unique offensive role in 2024, whereas the latter could see an increased workload if Johnson is unavailable for Week 1. ESPN’s Katherine Terrell notes Moreau (who played in 15 games last year following a successful bout with cancer) was used heavily during minicamp practice yesterday with Johnson sidelined.

New Orleans has other, less experienced options in the fold. That group includes rookie Dallin Holker, who received one of the league’s largest guarantees ($235K) amongst this year’s UDFAs. As New Orleans proceeds with a shorthanded tight end group through the summer, Johnson’s recovery will be worth monitoring.

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