New Orleans Saints insider believes star player will never play again, impact on 2024 lineup

Author:
Sportsnaut

The New Orleans Saints have seen several franchise icons walk away from the game in recent years, pushing them further and further away from their era of dominance. Now, one of the team’s longest-tenured players and a multi-time All-Pro selection might’ve played his last NFL snap.

Drew Brees was the first Saints’ legend to walk away, followed shortly after by running back Mark Ingram. While New Orleans has been able to fill voids at some of the positions vacated by departures of franchise legends, others have left massive holes in the starting lineup.

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New Orleans had been hoping to avoid that with offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk. A three-time All-Pro selection and the 32nd overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, it appears Ramczyk’s NFL career might be over before he even takes a snap in his age-31 season.

NFL news first surfaced in December that Ramczyk might be dealing with a career-ending injury. The 6-foot-6 offensive tackle played in just 12 games last season due to a knee injury that has only worsened over the last three years. He admitted in December that retirement was on the table, but he first needed to meet with specialists for further evaluation. Unfortunately, it appears retirement is now the likely outcome.

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When asked about Ramczyk’s availability for the 2024 season, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football said not only is he expecting the Saints’ tackle to not play this fall but his current belief is that Ramczyk never plays another NFL snap.

Impact of Ryan Ramczyk news on the Saints offensive line

Losing the veteran right tackle would be another blow for a Saints offensive line that was one of the worst in the NFL last season. If Ramczyk is unable to play, it would create massive holes at both offensive tackle spots heading into training camp.

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New Orleans already needed to replace left tackle Trevor Penning, the 19th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, who has been one of the worst offensive tackles in football since entering the league. However, that spot was supposed to be addressed with the addition of Taliese Fuaga.

A career-ending injury to Ramczyk might change things. Fuaga is a more natural fit at right tackle and starting the 2024 first-round selection on the right side could work out better for the Saints offensive line. However, that would also mean Penning – 53.6 Pro Football Focus grade in 2024 – would remain in the lineup. With Ramczyk not expected to see the field in 2024, New Orleans will likely look to add more depth at offensive tackle before training camp.

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