Sheldon Rankins Injury Doesn’t Mean Gloom & Doom For Saints
New Orleans Saints rookie defensive lineman Sheldon Rankins suffered a significant injury on Monday, but it's not necessary the end of the world, or even the end of the 2016 season, for the franchise.
Far from it.
Rankins, the team's first-round draft choice, the 12th-overall selection out of Louisville, and a projected starter at defensive tackle, suffered a broke left fibula, and is expected to miss at least six weeks.
Okay, without question, this is not a good thing.
If the Saints are going to have a winning record this season, after back-to-back 7-9 seasons, they need an improved defense, and after two historically bad seasons, losing a starter, in a spot where they don't have a lot of depth, is certainly not something to be concerned about.
Rankins, who was/is expected to give the team a much-needed push rush up the middle, has been impressive in his short time in New Orleans.
So, there's no doubt this is a blow to the team, but it's not a death blow.
A broken leg is not a torn ACL/MCL. Rankins won't miss the season, and should be back fairly early in the season.
They're saying he'll be out at least six weeks.
Again, you don't want him missing any games, or valuable practice time, but let's say he misses 7 weeks; that would mean he'd miss the last three weeks of the preseason, and then the first four weeks of the regular season.
Now, I've never proclaimed to be great in math, but that would mean he'd be back by the fifth week of the regular season, making him available for the last 12 games of the 2016 season.
The other thing to keep in mind is that the Saints have a bye week in the 5th week of the season, so Rankins could miss the next 8 weeks, and still be available for action in their fifth game of the season, a home match-up against the Carolina Panthers on October 16.
The Saints begin the season against the likes of the Raiders, Falcons, Giants, and Chargers, four teams with non-winning records last season.
Even without Rankins, the Saints are more than capable of going 2-2 over that stretch, and maybe even 3-1.
If they do, they should be just fine.
Guys like Tyeler Davison, Nick Fairley, and John Jenkins are more than capable of giving the Saints production at the defensive tackle position over a small sample size.
Injuries are part of football, and part of sports. You hate having them, but others just have to step up.
No, losing Rankins isn't a good thing, and yes, it is a blow. That being said, losing him early in the preseason, giving him a chance to recover the remainder of the preseason, and giving him the opportunity to return for the final 12 games of the season, the hardest part of their schedule, is the positive part of the situation.
No, it's not a good thing, but it could be a lot worse.