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Saints’ LT Terron Armstead reportedly out against Broncos after positive COVID test

The Saints will have a new-look left side of the offensive line against the Denver Broncos.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

According to reports, New Orleans Saints two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead will be out for Sunday’s game at the Denver Broncos after a positive COVID test.

The Saints have been one of the most well-managed teams throughout the coronavirus threat throughout the season, but unfortunately will not go unscathed along the starting lineup this season. Armstead being out is a big loss any week for New Orleans, but this week they’ll be facing a Broncos pass rush that’s seventh in sacks so far this season after notching six against the Miami Dolphins last week. A lean on the run game and the added bonus of a mobile quarterback could come in handy this weekend.

The team leaders in sacks Malik Reed and Bradley Chubb each have six. Chubb rushes mainly from Armstead’s side and will now be matched up with, assuming no additional tests turn out to be positive, veteran backup James Hurst.

Armstead missing this game is accentuated by the loss of Andrus Peat at the left guard position. Peat has had a solid season so far, better than most are willing to give him credit for. Unfortunately, he suffered a concussion last week against the Atlanta Falcons after taking a shoulder to the helmet and will be replaced by Nick Easton who has taken snaps at both left and right guard periodically this season. Again, that’s assuming no additional positive tests come up through contract tracing, though there’s encouraging news on that front thus far.

Through 10 games so far this season, Armstead has given up only 10 total pressures including two sacks. Hurst has seen a total of 134 snaps this season, the majority of which at left tackle or as a sixth linemen and has allowed just one pressure, a sack on 48 pass blocking reps per PFF. However, it’s not just the statistics that set Armstead apart, it’s also his intelligence on the field that will be missed. Last week, we got a glimpse of it as he called the Falcons’ bluff before a snap for first-time starting quarterback Taysom Hill.

Hurst will have his hands full this week taking on the young edge rusher in Bradley Chubb, but at least he will still have an experience guard to this right in Easton who was has been in the system for over a year. Hurst was a key addition this offseason, despite missing the first four games due to a suspension. Now, he’ll be thrust into action and can hopefully prove his value in the first of three road games for the Saints.

This piece focuses on the competitive aspect of the game in response to Terron Armstead’s positive test. But as always we wish him a manageable and full recovery. There is always the possibility of a false positive, although this sounds as if it may be confirmed. But as more details become available, check back here for updates.

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