TheAdvocate- Saints' top pick Sheldon Rankins is believed to have suffered a fractured fibula during a goal-line drill during Monday's practice, according to a source.
Rankins will seek multiple opinions and undergo more testing, but will likely need surgery to fix the injury. The hope is that he will return to action in six weeks.
Drafted with the No. 12 pick out of Louisville, Rankins has shown plenty of promise in camp so far, displaying impressive quickness and burst as a pass rusher.
I got to be honest here, I was all set to go into "sky is falling" mode. The defensive line shows the smallest bit of promise in one preseason game and all the sudden the biggest (literally and figuratively) addition to it goes down with an injury that leaves him unable to get off the field under his own power? Not exactly the type of thing you want to hear about a player whose already provided a glimpse into his potential from a position that doesn't often stand out to the average observer. Carted off? Broken fibula? That sounds disastrous. That's why I was absolutely stunned to see that he's expected back in 6 weeks. As far as catastrophic training camp injuries go, that's actually rather encouraging news. Obviously I would rather the Saints first round pick not spend the first half of the season nursing a serious injury, but considering my expectations from how long it takes a professional athlete to recover from a broken leg I'm actually feeling quite optimistic. I should always assume worst case scenario, because my certainty in thinking that I wasn't going to watch Sheldon Rankins play meaningful football until 2017 has me feeling excited to watch him dominate in November instead of feeling down that I won't get to see him do so in September. I obviously wish him the best of luck in the healing process, but damn - a broken bone on the lower body of a 300 pound physical freak sure seems like it should have a longer one. Thank God - for the sake of the Saints pass rush - that it doesn't.