New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton gave some good news in his Wednesday morning conference call with the media when he said that Louisville rookie defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins is expected to return to practice. Payton said Rankins is healthy enough, and is going to be the team’s designated return player from injured reserve.
It seemed like it was not that long ago (maybe an eternity for some) that Rankins was carted off the field during a Monday practice on Aug. 15. We’d learn that it was a broken fibula, and Dr. Robert Anderson made the repair the next day. The prognosis was good for Rankins to make an early season return, but the decision was made to place him on injured reserve on Labor Day.
If all goes well, Rankins could return to the field as early as the Nov. 6 road game against the San Francisco 49ers. As Payton likes to say, we’ll see. Rankins was playing well in the preseason and flashing during training camp, and he’d be a tremendous boost to the team’s interior line when he comes back.