The New Orleans Saints' young secondary received a significant blow Sunday, when cornerback Delvin Breaux fractured his fibula in the team's 35-34 loss to Oakland in the season opener in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"He had a procedure done this morning," Coach Sean Payton said Monday. "He'll be able to make a full recovery and be back with us this season and play."
Payton said recovery time for Breaux will be six weeks.
Breaux, a 16-game starter last year in his first season with the Saints, led the team with three interceptions and 23 pass breakups in 2015. He emerged as the team's top cornerback and entered this season as one of its defensive cornerstones.
He left Sunday's game for the final time with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter, and the Saints leading 24-10. Oakland kicked a field goal on the drive to pull to within 24-13, then scored 22 points in the fourth quarter as quarterback Derek Carr threw for 111 yards and a touchdown, completing six of 10 passes.
Payton said that the secondary, overall, had some bright spots and some low points. Three cornerbacks – P.J. Williams, Ken Crawley and De'Vante Harris – made their NFL debuts.
"I think there are snaps that they played very well, and there are some snaps, obviously, we've got to get cleaned up," Payton said. "I think defensively, the first three quarters of that game, there are a lot of things that we do according to plan. We limit the explosive plays, we handle the quick, short field in the first drive where we had the fumble.
"And then once that fourth quarter started – and even a part of the third quarter – the keys for us defensively all of a sudden begin to crumble somewhat. They had the long run (a 75-yard touchdown run), there's penalties on a few drives – all the things that we had done in the early part of the game, we were unable to do then.
"We were unable to get off the field on third down. So I think they did some good things, especially early, but there are some things they've got to get better at, and I think they will from Week 1 to Week 2."