Alex Anzalone

Saints Place LB Alex Anzalone On IR

The Saints have placed linebacker Alex Anzalone on injured reserve, according to the NFL’s transactions wire. It’s not immediately clear whether he is a candidate to return later this year. "<strong

Anzalone was one of two third-round picks for the Saints in this year’s draft. Thanks in part to shoulder injuries, he didn’t see significant playing time at Florida until last season, when he totaled 53 tackles and three sacks. Shoulder issues caught up to Anzalone again when he exited the opening drive of Sunday’s game against Miami.

Anzalone wound up as the Saints’ Week 1 starter at weakside linebacker and the results through four games (or, three-games-and-change) were promising. The rookie has 16 tackles, one sack, and one pass deflection to his credit while ranking as Pro Football Focus’ No. 35 linebacker.

Anzalone’s injury may help to explain the Saints’ workout with Gerald Hodges on Tuesday. Internal options also exist on the New Orleans roster, as the club can turn to Manti Te’o, Nathan Stupar, or the recently-signed Gabe Martin to fill in for the time being.

The linebacker is the second Saints starter to go down this week. On Tuesday, tackle Zach Strief was placed on IR with an MCL sprain.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Pick Signings: 6/1/17

The latest NFL rookies to put pen to paper on their first contracts:

  • The Saints signed their two third-round picks, linebacker Alex Anzalone (pick No. 76) and defensive end Trey Hendrickson (No. 103), as well as sixth-round DE Al-Quadin Muhammad (No. 196) on Thursday (via Anzalone’s Twitter account and Herbie Teope of NOLA.com). Thanks in part to shoulder injuries, Anzalone didn’t pick up significant playing time at Florida until last season, when he totaled 53 tackles and three sacks. Despite his relatively modest output with the Gators, Anzalone has the talent to be a three-down starter in the pros, per Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. Hendrickson, meanwhile, was quite productive at Florida Atlantic, where he tallied 41 tackles for loss and 29.5 sacks from 2013-16. Most of the damage came over the previous two years, as Hendrickson combined for 30 TFL and 23 sacks in that span. Muhammad, yet another prospect who played his college ball at a Florida-based institution (Miami), is coming off a troubled tenure with the Hurricanes. He missed all of 2014 on account of a suspension stemming from an altercation and then incurred yet another ban last year, one that led to his dismissal from Miami, for a violation of NCAA rules. The last time Muhammad took the field, in 2015, he put up 54 tackles (8.5 for loss) and five sacks.
  • The Packers have signed fourth-round running back Jamaal Williams (No. 134), leaving only one of their 10 picks – third-round defensive tackle Montravius Adamswithout a contract. Williams, the first of three running backs the Packers drafted this year, was a two-time 1,200-yard rusher at BYU. He finished his Cougars tenure with a career year in 2016, amassing 1,375 rushing yards (with a 5.9 yards-per-carry average) and 12 touchdowns in 10 games.