The Saints lost linebacker Chris Chamberlain for the season in Friday’s game against the Jaguars, but that wasn’t the only injury to strike the team’s linebacking corps.
During his Monday press conference, interim coach Joe Vitt announced, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune, that Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne are also dealing with injuries. Neither one should be out as long as Chamberlain, but it sounds like both will miss the final two games of the preseason.
Vitt suggested that the new turf at the Superdome might have played a role in mowing down his linebackers. The coach said he regretted not having a practice on that field before the game against the Jags.
Lofton has a high ankle sprain and Vitt called him “extremely doubtful” for this week’s game against the Texans. Vitt said he thinks Lofton should be able to play in the first week of the regular season. Hawthorne tore his meniscus early in the game against the Jags and will need surgery to repair the injury. Vitt projected he’d be out for a few weeks and said that he was optimistic about Hawthorne’s recovery because the linebacker was able to remain in the game after getting hurt.
Ramon Humber will likely start in the middle in place of Lofton while it’s less clear who will replace Hawthorne in the starting lineup. Whoever gets the job will be tasked with helping the Saints do a better job of tackling than they did against the Jaguars last week.