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New Orleans Saints Linebackers Embracing “Next Man Up” Mentality

Posted Aug 20, 2012

Injuries to veteran linebackers are providing younger players a great opportunity to showcase their skills, Joe Vitt says


Jonathan Casillas

After losing LB Chris Chamberlain to a season-ending knee injury last Friday against the Jaguars, the injury bug continued to hit the New Orleans Saints linebacker core as Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers Joe Vitt announced on Monday that LB Curtis Lofton (ankle) will not play this week and LB David Hawthorne (meniscus) will miss a couple of weeks.

“That’s a hard thing to happen to get hit with the injury bug last week,” said S Malcolm Jenkins. “We are confident in the guys we have behind them and it will be a good week for those guys to step in position with the first team and get some quality reps. I think it will benefit us during the season.”

To bolster the Saints' linebacker unit, late Monday night Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced the Saints acquired LB Barrett Ruud from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a future undisclosed draft pick.

Ruud, in his eighth NFL season, entered the league in 2005 as a second-round draft choice by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and started 68 games over the next six seasons.

Along with the addition of Ruud, LB Jonathan Casillas said with having a number of linebackers with starts on their resume, the group should be able to fill the voids well.

“The good thing about the core we have is that we have twos and threes who have started games, including myself and Will Herring,” said Casillas. “I think we have good experience in this group.”