Victor Butler injury creates problem for Saints, NFL

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This was supposed to be linebacker Victor Butler’s chance to emerge from the shadows.  Instead, he’ll stay there at least for another year.

Butler, expected to become a sack-happy outside linebacker in Rob Ryan’s defense with the Saints, tore an ACL on Tuesday after colliding knees with running back Mark Ingram.

While the contact in the supposedly non-contact practice wasn’t intentional, it still happened.  And it raises questions about the tempo of these sessions.  If the players are moving so quickly that one of them can tear an ACL simply via an accidental collision, they’re arguably moving too quickly, and practicing too intensely.

All players and teams would benefit from further guidance and negotiation from the league and the NFLPA.  This year, too many players are suffering serious injuries during non-contact practices, and now the Saints have to scramble to replace Butler.

The current thinking is that Martez Wilson and Junior Galette will get more chances to shine.  The Saints also could scan the waiver wire as rosters move from 90 to 53.

The Saints surely would prefer to have Butler.  Every team needs to ask itself whether the benefit that arises from close-to-full-speed non-contact practices outweighs the risk of losing key players for the season.  The league needs to ask itself whether the only way that will happen is via the application of limits that apply to everyone.

48 responses to “Victor Butler injury creates problem for Saints, NFL

  1. It’s all conjecture until one knows how it happened and that would be easy to find out since the practices are taped. The NFL should look into it especially knowing the Saints recent history of bending rules.

  2. Ummm.. I’m pretty sure we’ve all seen guys tear their ACL’s with no contact whatsoever… Not saying there wasn’t contact here, but you can’t use a torn ACL as a measuring stick for whether there is excessive contact in mini camp or OTA’s…..

  3. Dominique Foxworth tore his ACL a few years ago while backpeddling during a non-contact drill, and I’m certain there have been numerous other such injuries. It happens, no need to apply sensationalism and lawyer logic to another topic.

  4. Here’s an idea lets just not practice at all. *Eye Roll*. I’m a saints fan and this is going to happen.

  5. That is a ridiculous line of logic. An ACL can tear walking up the stairs. An ACL injury is the product of an unhealthy person not refuling their body in the way they need to be. When you sweat you sweat everything holding you together in the form of minerals. These minerals do not replace themselves unless you know what you are doing. Through time the lack of the minerals will lead to weak joints, ligaments, and tendons. This injury does nothing to show the saints were practicing “too hard”. It can happen anywhere at anytime to anyone. The more you sweat the more likely it will be and these guys sweat their whole lives and never know they can repair the damage done

  6. injuries are part of any physical activity. quit pressuring goodell to make the league softer. your being part of the problem ruining the game we love

  7. Why are they practicing in June when the season begins in September? Honestly.

  8. So what you’re suggesting is that during OTA’s, teams should have their players sit in front of consoles, and play themselves on a monitor, al a Madden?

    Why live? Why breathe? Why walk, or run? Let’s make life so safe that we’ll only be able to die, from boredom.

  9. Consider this. There are 32 teams with 90 players under contract right now undergoing 15 OTA and minicamp practices. That is 43,200 player practices. To expect that there would be no injuries is ridiculous. And that number does not include the rookie mini camps.

  10. So basically it’s flag football with helmets during mini camp. If the NFL (GOD FORBID) turns this sport into flag football, you still won’t stop injuries. It’s impossible to eliminate any possible or accidental contact at a mini camp. Put them in full pads and keep the same rules, when they have an accidental contact they will be a bit more protected. It still won’t prevent injuries, but at least Goodell can pretend to care about safety and take credit for saving the NFL.

  11. How bad will the 1st quarter of the season be, if teams can’t play at close to full speed durring OTAs/Camp. I think the play of the entire league would hurt ratings (cause that’s what the League cares about) more than some guy who might be “expected” to become a sack-happy outside linebacker”…

  12. Soon enough they will practive by playing madden…

    Seriously this is nothing new and simply part of the beast. People get injured in flag football too. The NFL is a competitive environnement and more then half these players on the 90 man roster are fighting for jobs, fighting to make an impression. There is no way accidents are not going to happen.

    In aviation we all know the only way we wont ever have a crash is to not leave the ground, but heck we still have flights to perform.

  13. This is what happens when you have a commissioner who is actively trying to sissify a sport like football – by taking away the pads and protections, you are left with football players trying to act out their natural instincts during a practice – thus injuries like this will occur from time to time.

    The new rules suck, Goodell sucks, and football is on its way to sucking. Mark my word, there are going to be outcomes of games which change due to the new and mindless “crown of helmet” rule. Mindless.

  14. I’ve seen girl volleyball players rupture an Achilles Heel in a no contact sport. Contact can cause injuries but is not the only cause.

  15. First off, sorry Saints fans, as that’s always rough having an unfortunate injury like that happen at this stage of the season sucks. Hopefully someone can fill that spot and he heals fully and quickly. Why does it always have to be that “someone was bending the rules?” We are forgetting that these guys essentially are fighting for a roster spot even if it is minicamp so they are going to go with intensity. As a Bucs fan I saw a similar situation last week with a scuffle during OTAs. It happens. It then turned to “are they cheating?” or “bending the rules?” I guarantee that an injury such as this one occurs every season and would regardless of what watered-down precautions you would like to slow down and neuter the game with. Again, best of luck on his recovery.

  16. letmesetyoustraight says:
    Jun 12, 2013 10:42 PM
    Consider this. There are 32 teams with 90 players under contract right now undergoing 15 OTA and minicamp practices. That is 43,200 player practices. To expect that there would be no injuries is ridiculous. And that number does not include the rookie mini camps.
    Consider this…. 162 games plus practices x 25 man roster = 1,237,856 chances of a torn acl and it never happens. These otas are dumb.

  17. You cannot take an ACL injury and say it was caused because they were moving too fast. They are completely unrelated. The only way you can say the tempo of the practice was too fast or anything else relating to that is to watch the practice (or the film of the practice)….saying otherwise is just FUD.
    Anyone remember Bill Gramatica? kicked a field goal, made it, and jumped for joy. When he landed, he tore his ACL. zero contact with anyone.

  18. They have guys in camp that will move up. In the mean time ,Rob Ryan needs to find the best voodoo doctor in New Orleans to break the curse of injuries Ryan’s defenses always befall…. And soon!

  19. One more reason to go old school. Put on the pads for every practice endure collision every day, iron sharpens iron.

    More injuries in these ridiculous, pussified “non-contact” practices than there are in games.

    Man up and practice like you play.

  20. If Victor Butler got hurt in a non-contact scrimage, then what do you think would happen if they were going full speed contact? It’s better for the Saints to find out now, than right before the season starts. You can’t baby NFL players with rules for less practice time, and the Saints will still make it to the Superbowl with Butler on the sidelines.

  21. When guys are in freakish shape a lot of the time freak accidents happen.

  22. malachiofcourse says:
    Jun 12, 2013 9:37 PM
    butler needs to ask himself if it’s worth it. he shouldn’t have been going full speed since he can’t tackle in this part of the season.
    It was probably ‘short-man syndrome’ Mark Ingram that was going full speed at Butler as Ingram always has something to prove on the field but never seems to be able to prove it….

  23. I agree, “they’re arguably moving too quickly, and practicing too intensely.” Let’s stop this nonsense! While we’re at, lets get rid of those NASTY, HEAVY weights in the workout area & require the players to start doing aerobics, Pilates, and yoga to stay in shape!

  24. This stuff happens, it’s football.

    To all who say that the Saints are still cheating and bending the rules…jealousy is a sickness.

  25. Ask Derrick Rose about non-contact ACL rippage, he was just being and ripped his…nothing to see here, move along.

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