Saints outside linebacker Parys Haralson — who proved to be a valuable contributor after New Orleans traded for him to replace the injured Will Smith this preseason — won’t play again this season, coach Sean Payton said Tuesday.
Haralson tore a pectoral muscle during the Saints’ 26-24 wildcard playoff win at Philadelphia on Saturday, and New Orleans placed him on injured reserve on Tuesday, when he was scheduled to have surgery.
Payton confirmed the signing of safety Jordan Pugh, who was released by Washington in October and tweeted on Monday that he inked a deal with the team.
Backup safety Isa Abdul-Quddus was waived to make room for Pugh. Quddus had six tackles and a pass-break up in 11 games this year, his third with the Saints. Rookie linebacker Rufus Johnson, a sixth-round draft pick who’s spent the year on the practice squad, was promoted to the 53-man roster. Linebacker Vic So’oto, who was with Arizona for one game this year, took Johnson’s place on the roster squad.
The Advocate will have more on the transactions later. Below is some information about Haralson.
With about 2:10 left to go in the second quarter Saturday, Eagles receiver Jason Avant caught a short pass around the Saints’ 10, and Haralson tackled him along the sideline. The New Orleans linebacker propped himself up on his knees and clutched at the left side of his chest before lying down on his back as athletic trainers attended to him.
The crowd at Lincoln Financial Field rained boos down on him, surmising that Haralson flopped to slow Philadelphia down. They were wrong — as the Eagles scored a touchdown a couple of plays later to take a 7-3 lead, Haralson left the game and didn’t return.
The Saints exchanged a late-round draft pick to the 49ers for Haralson after Smith had a season-ending knee injury in New Orleans’ third preseason exhibition. Haralson himself was just coming back from a season-ending injury with the 49ers in 2012, when he tore a triceps tendon in his left arm in an exhibition.
Haralson had 3.5 sacks for the Saints in the regular season, fourth most on the team. He had 30 tackles, five of which resulted in lost yards; eight quarterback hits and a pass break-up.
“Parys is a beast,” said teammate Junior Galette, who finished the regular season second on the Saints with 12 sacks. “We’ll miss him, but it’s time for the next man up — it’s worked well for us this year.”
Among those under Haralson on the depth chart is Keyunta Dawson, who has .5 sacks since signing with the Saints in October and recovered a key fumble in a Week 12 win at Atlanta. Since then, however, he’s missed a half-dozen games with a hurt calf.
The Saints visit top NFC seed Seattle (13-3) for a divisional playoff game this upcoming Saturday.