This is bad. The New Orleans Saints ruled out left tackle James Hurst at halftime in their Week 10 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, meaning three of their five starting offensive linemen are unavailable: Hurst entered the NFL concussion protocol, with left guard Andrus Peat (shoulder) and center Erik McCoy (calf) each already inactive with injuries.
That meant Hurst was replaced by second-year backup Landon Young, with guards Lewis Kidd (an undrafted rookie out of Montana State) and Calvin Throckmorton rotating in and out of the lineup at Peat’s spot. Veteran journeyman Josh Andrews was signed from the Saints practice squad to replace McCoy. Only right guard Cesar Ruiz and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk remained from the nominal starting-five.
Rookie left tackle Trevor Penning traveled for the game but he hasn’t yet been activated from injured reserve after undergoing toe surgery, so he’s not eligible to play on Sunday.
It makes for a tough situation against a Steelers defensive line firing on all cylinders. T.J. Watt and Cameron Heyward are well-known names, but Alex Highsmith has been having a strong season rushing off the edge. With the Saints run game struggling to get going and Dalton taking sacks and fumbling snaps, even more pressure is put on the Saints defense to compensate. We’ll see if they can overcome all of this adversity.