A lengthy Saints injury list grew a lot longer — particularly at linebacker — during Friday night’s exhibition loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
In addition to linebacker Chris Chamberlain and wide receiver Andy Tanner, who left the field with knee and ankle injuries, respectively, interim coach Joe Vitt said Monday that linebackers Curtis Lofton and David Hawthorne also suffered significant injuries in the game.
Lofton, who is the starting middle linebacker, has a high-ankle sprain ankle, while Hawthorne, the starter on the weak side, had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.
Vitt said Lofton should be back for the regular-season opener on Sept. 9 against the Washington Redskins, but Hawthorne, who’s expected to be out at least a couple of weeks, may or may not be ready.
Vitt noted that Hawthorne has a chance to play in the opener considering he was injured early in the game with the Jaguars and continued to play on the leg.
Those losses, as well as the season-ending torn ACL that Chamberlain suffered, leaves the linebackers corps extremely thin pending some likely roster moves as they are down to only eight healthy players at the position.
The group includes only four players who have ever appeared in an NFL regular-season game — Scott Shanle, Jonathan Casillas, Will Herring and Ramon Humber.
The others are first-year players Ezra Butler and Lawrence Wilson and undrafted rookies Aaron Tevis and Kadarron Anderson.