New Orleans has lost starting left tackle and Cahokia High product Terron Armstead for the start of the regular season.
Armstead, a fifth-year pro and former third-round draft pick out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, needs surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder, and his rehabilitation is expected to take four to six months, said a person familiar with the situation. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because there has been no announcement about the nature of Armstead’s injury.
Armstead, 25, posted on his Twitter page that he is “heartbroken” and “frustrated” about the surgery.
The 6-foot-5, 304 pound Armstead is in the first year of a five-year, $65 million extension that he signed before the 2016 season.
He has been a starter since late in his rookie season.
Leg injuries have hampered him for parts of the past two seasons, limiting him to only seven games last season.
Armstead’s latest injury means the Saints will have two starting linemen who will have undergone surgery this offseason. Starting center Max Unger is coming off foot surgery. While standing in front of his locker in a walking boot, Unger said during Saints minicamp this week that his goal is to be ready to play by the first regular season game.
If Armstead is able to return in four months, he could begin playing as early as the half-way point in the season. But if his rehabilitation lags, his season could be virtually wiped out.
New Orleans will have a couple of options as Armstead’s replacement. Former first-round draft choice Andrus Peat, who was projected to start this season at left guard, may shift to left tackle, a position he played throughout his college career at Stanford and in spot duty with the Saints.