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UPDATE: Trevor Penning to need surgery, out indefinitely

Saints could be without their first round offensive tackle for the start of the season

New Orleans Saints v Green Bay Packers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images


Well this is not good.

After what was originally thought to be a turf toe injury - the severity of which could involve an absence of days or months - reports are now coming out that New Orleans Saints first round rookie Trevor Penning has a torn ligament in his foot and will need surgery.

Veteran offensive lineman James Hurst has been battling his own injured foot, but hopes are that Hurst will be ready and available for Week 1.

In any event, this is a huge blow to the depth of the Saints offensive line.

Original story below:

Saints rookie left tackle Trevor Penning suffered a turf toe injury during Friday’s final preseason game against the Chargers. If Penning can avoid surgery this injury may only keep him out a few weeks, but anything more serious could sideline him for a while.

Chauncey Gardner-Johnson suffered the same injury last season and it caused him to miss four games. Penning was carted to the locker room after walking off the field under his own power. This injury comes as a setback even though Penning was not expected to be the Saints Week 1 starter at left tackle. The Saints are now very thin at left tackle, and may look to bring in a new backup for James Hurst. Penning had looked good during the preseason, and the good news for him is turf toe is not a nagging injury that tends to recur throughout a career.

Turf toe occurs when your big toe forcibly bends upward which causes a sprain. We now await the results of the MRI to determine the grade of his injury. A grade 1 injury entails a stretching of the system of ligaments and bones in your big toe which is called the plantar complex, this can cause swelling and soreness. A grade 2 injury includes a partial tearing of the ligaments and increased pain and swelling from a grade 1, but usually does not require surgery although the recovery time can be up to six weeks. A grade 3 injury is a complete tear of the ligament in the plantar complex, which requires surgery and could keep Penning out for most of the season if this is what he suffered.

We now hope that Penning did not suffer a complete tear of the ligaments in his big toe and will be able to avoid surgery. If so, he could return by Week 5 against the Seahawks. If not, the Saints will almost certainly look to bring in a veteran tackle to back up James Hurst. Nate Solder and Eric Fisher are two names that may come up as potential backups, but the Saints could also look to sign a player who is released by another team as cut day looms on August 30.

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