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Steve Spagnuolo and the Curse of the Injured Reserve

August 17, 2012; Steve Spagnuolo trying to push out the evil spirits while on the sideline.  Too bad it doesn't work like that Spags. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
August 17, 2012; Steve Spagnuolo trying to push out the evil spirits while on the sideline. Too bad it doesn't work like that Spags. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

If you've been keeping up with the Saints preseason then you already know they seem to have an injury bug running through the defense.

It all started with a random knee injury suffered by Greg Romeus during training camp, a second year DE who didn't see the field last season because of a similar knee injury. The wierd part is he wasn't even in a football situation, he was running along the sideline as part of his rehab. That one random injury didn't trigger any red flags with most people but something told me to keep an eye on the Saints' injury report.

You see, Spagnuolo faced a similar situation in St. Louis last year. His starting secondary suffered through a rash of season ending injuries and several of the backup players the Rams brought in were also injured. I'm not saying that Spags purposely brought a curse with him, but I do live in Louisiana where Voodoo and witchcraft aren't just superstitions.

Let's review how the injury list has grown this preseason and figure out if we should get this man some gris-gris.

Jabari Greer and Patrick Robinson both missed the HOF Game against Arizona on August 5th with what could be described as minor injuries, but the details are sketchy on both injury reports. While Greer is battling with a sports hernia, Robinson is playing through some type of shoulder injury. There were also reports that surfaced that Johnny Patrick is suffering from a groin injury of some type although it hasn't stopped him from playing yet. Interim head coach Joe Vitt has implied that some of the starters were sitting out more as a precautionary measure, which I can believe since their presence will be needed during the regular season.

These type of injuries are pretty common during the preseason when offseason workouts cannot account for actual football activity, so in a normal preseason I wouldn't be concerned. However, there are two main differences this preseason: 1) This has not been a normal offseason by any means, and 2) a similar injury bug crippled St. Louis' secondary last year.

Here is the list of DBs who landed on the IR list for St. Louis last year. I didn't go to the trouble of hunting down the UDFA defensive backs who also suffered injuries but were waived through injury settlements. This list should give you an idea of how devastating the injuries were to the Rams secondary last year. From what I can gather, the first three names were the intended starters while the last two names with asterisks were replacement players. Keep in mind this was just the DBs. Ryan Van Bibber documented all of the injuries at the time and the list was quite long.

2011 Rams Secondary Injuries

Jerome Murphy


Fractured Toe


Ron Bartell


Fractured Vertebrae


Bradley Fletcher


Torn ACL


Brian Jackson




Al Harris


Torn ACL


As you can see these injuries were season ending. So far Saints defenders have only been "knicked up" as Joe Vitt would say, but the list is growing and the severity of the injuries is increasing.

For example, Saints linebackers took the biggest hit this weekend during the Jacksonville game. All three free agent additions (Lofton, Hawthorne, and Chamberlain) the Saints brought in before training camp were banged up. The worst injury of the three was suffered by Chris Chamberlain who is out for the season with a torn ACL. I'll give you one guess which one of these linebackers played under Spags in St. Louis. That's right it was Chamberlain! I don't know about you guys, but this is starting to get a little eery.

Initial reports on Lofton and Hawthorne state that both players should be back sometime early in the regular season, but Hawthorne will have to have surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The Saints hope at least Lofton will be back for Week 1 against the Redskins, which would be great because of RGIII's mobility. The Saints will need some experienced defenders out there to contain him, not to mention for the rest of the season.

Considering the rest of the team's linebacker corps only has limited experience, Mickey Loomis traded for Barrett Ruud for a 7th round draft pick. Ruud is a league veteran with a good head on his shoulders, but he has been rehabbing from a couple of injuries of his own during the offseason. Not to mention, he's way behind the learning curve this late in the preseason.

So as injuries keep piling up, the front office will keep bringing in more replacements to fill the gaps, but I don't believe that will solve the real problem. They really need to bring in a Mojo specialist instead and have Spags put through an extensive exorcism. I'm not saying the man purposely cursed himself, I'm just saying he is probably cursed.

Unfortunately, I only know of one fanbase that would have went to those lengths to give their home team an advantage and that would be us, the notorious Who Dat Nation. So whoever has the "Steve Spagnuolo Voodoo Doll" needs to sprinkle some magic dust on it and clear out the evil spirits because the man works for us now.