Saints short a blocker, with starter Charles Brown out

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One of the most important jobs in New Orleans is protecting quarterback Drew Brees’ blind side.

And at the moment, the first option is just watching, as has been too often the case.

According to Katherine Terrell of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, starter Charles Brown was on the sidelines with trainers during OTAs Thursday.

Saints coach Sean Payton said only that the injury happened in the weight room, but didn’t specify any further.

Brown would have likely had the first shot to replace Jermon Bushrod, who signed with the Bears this offseason.

Brown finished last year on injured reserve with a knee injury, and has battled back and hip problems in his career.

If he’s not there, the Saints have several options.

Former No. 2 overall pick Jason Smith started in Brown’s place in Thursday’s practice, and the Saints drafted Terron Armstead in the third round with an eye toward eventually competing for that job.

None of those are ideal options, as Brown was kind of a fill-in, Smith’s more of a right tackle who hasn’t lived up to his draft status and Armstead’s a raw third-rounder from Arkansas-Pine Bluff.