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Saints injury watch: How are key players that were injured in 2022 looking this offseason?

Multiple starters are still recovering from injuries sustained in 2022.

NFL: New Orleans Saints Minicamp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Thomas

Weeks missed in 2022: Fifteen

Injury: Toe Dislocation

Michael Thomas was one of the biggest injury disappointments in 2022, but his outlook heading in 2023 looks solid. He participated in minicamp and has progressed well through the rehab process. Dennis Allen expects Michael Thomas to be a full-go for training camp later this month. His contract for this season is almost entirely incentive-based, giving the veteran additional motivation to take the correct steps to be healthy in 2023.

Pete Werner

Weeks missed in 2022: Five

Injury: Ankle

Werner was heading towards a Pro Bowl season when it was derailed by an ankle injury in week nine. Even though Kaden Elliss stepped up in his absence, Werner’s absence was a massive loss for the defense. He was able to play the New Orleans Saints season finale against the Panthers. He was a full participant at the minicamp and was even spotted in some formations that we did not see him play last season.

Marshon Lattimore

Weeks missed in 2022: Eleven

Injury: Lacerated Kidney

Perhaps even more detrimental than Thomas’ injury was Marshon Lattimore missing 11 games in 2022. Although rookie Alontae Taylor stepped up with Lattimore out, the secondary was never the same without him. Lattimore was able to return for the final two games of the season in 2022 and has been present for minicamp. A lacerated kidney is nothing to play around with, but it appears that Lattimore has fully recovered.

Trevor Penning

Weeks missed in 2022: Eleven

Injury: Toe, Foot

First-round draft pick Trevor Penning was set to give the offensive line a massive boost before a toe injury sidelined him for the first 11 games last season. Unfortunately, Penning might be the only player on this list who is still not 100% ready to go. Last month, some hardware was removed from his foot that was a product of his season finale injury against Carolina. He is expected to be healthy for week one, but nothing is guaranteed about his status. Hopefully, we can see him fully participating in training camp.

Marcus Maye

Weeks missed in 2022: Six

Injury: Rib, Shoulder

Marcus Maye missed six games last season with two separate injuries, one to his shoulder and one to his ribs. Maye was present at minicamp and appears to be fully healthy; however, the biggest concern for the safety is his upcoming court date for a DUI he acquired in 2021.

NFL: New Orleans Saints Minicamp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston

Weeks missed in 2022: Three

Injury: Back, Ankle

Winston was only technically out for three games last season, but his back and ankle injuries likely affected his performance far before and after his time on the injury report. He appears to be fully participating in minicamp, but back injuries can be very fickle. Hopefully, we see some healthy Jameis during the preseason games, because with Dalton’s departure, Winston is the guy if Carr goes down.

Smoke Monday

Weeks missed in 2022: Seventeen

Injury: ACL Tear

Smoke was a rookie that everyone was hoping to see immediately impact the secondary, that was until he tore his ACL before the season began. The former Auburn Tiger has the potential to be a solid backup at safety, especially if Maye is considerably suspended. Monday was present at minicamp and appears to have fully recovered from his ACL tear, but ACL recoveries are never set in stone.

D’Marco Jackson

Weeks missed in 2022: Seventeen

Injury: Undisclosed

D’Marco Jackson was the second rookie from the 2022 class that would miss the entire season due to injury. Jackson has the potential to be a significant part of this defense if healthy, especially with the departure of Kaden Elliss. He was present and appeared to be healthy at OTAs.

Cesar Ruiz

Weeks missed in 2022: Three

Injury: Lisfranc (Foot)

Ruiz was important to include on this list because of how late his injury occurred last season and the possibility of it continuing into 2023. He is expected to be back for training camp, but nothing is guaranteed with a foot injury. If he is healthy, he has a massive role to play on this offensive line.

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