We got some clarity on the injury that took James Hurst out of Wednesday’s joint practice with the Green Bay Packers, with New Orleans Saints head coach Dennis Allen telling reporters afterwards that Hurst was dealing with a foot injury, saying, “That’s really all I can say until we get a chance to delve into it a little bit more.”
And NewOrleans.Football’s Nick Underhill added in a follow-up report that Hurst isn’t managing “anything too significant” after initial exams. That’s good news. The Saints were already shorthanded on Wednesday, having rested starting right tackle Ryan Ramczyk and his backup Landon Young, taking Hurst out of his usual spot at left tackle and shifting him over to the right side, where he’s played before in the NFL.
Fortunately it doesn’t appear he’ll miss much time, but we’ll have to wait until further reporting or word from the team. Hurst is a critically important player this year: if he isn’t starting at left tackle (though he should, barring major injury) he’s the sixth man in heavy packages and the immediate backup at both tackle and guard. He’s become a very valuable piece to the offense and the Saints will be counting on him to solve a couple of different problems in different situations.
Both Hurst and his rookie teammate Trevor Penning exited Wednesday’s practice session, though Penning was able to return and close out the day’s work at left tackle (whether he needed treatment for an injury or, as was the case for New England Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon, he needed to run to the restroom, remains unclear). They’re backed up by undrafted rookies Sage Doxtater at left tackle and Lewis Kidd at right tackle, and the team also just claimed swing tackle Derrick Kelly off of waivers. so there’s enough depth to get them through the preseason. Hopefully they won’t need it come Week 1 in Atlanta.