Rookie Saints offensive lineman Nick Saldiveri sidelined by calf injury at OTAs
We’re starting to notice a theme with the New Orleans Saints this offseason. The team is playing it safe with many players managing injuries — including third-round rookie running back Kendre Miller and veteran wide receiver Michael Thomas. We can add fourth-round draft pick Nick Saldiveri to the list being held back by an abundance of caution from the medical staff.
Saldiveri wasn’t spotted at Saints organized team activities on Tuesday; after practice, head coach Dennis Allen said that he’s dealing with a calf injury. He was a full participant at Senior Bowl practices in February as well as the NFL Scouting Combine and Old Dominion’s pro day in March, as well as rookie minicamp last week, so this injury must have occurred after he arrived in New Orleans and began training earlier this month.
It’s not a big deal that Saldiveri isn’t able to participate right now. Contact is limited if not nonexistent at this stage in the offseason, so the offensive linemen who are present don’t have much to do besides work on their cardio. It would be nice to have him at the facility and getting more familiar with his teammates, but it’s not like the Saints are running blocking drills without him.
With that said, we still don’t know where he’s going to play this year. Saldiveri was a full-time right tackle in college and he played that role very well. He’s also right on the fringe of the Saints’ standards for the position with arms measuring just over 33 inches long. He was working at right guard in rookie minicamp but Allen has said his ability to kick out to tackle if needed was part of what drew them to him. They valued him highly enough to trade up to the first pick of the 2023 draft’s third day, so they clearly have a vision for the player once he’s able to return.
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