The New Orleans Saints are trying to bounce back from a disappointing 7-9 campaign in 2014, but that hope took a hit on Sunday afternoon against the Houston Texans. In the first half, safety Vinnie Sunseri went down with an apparent knee injury and went to the on-field trainers table in obvious pain. He has not returned.
Doug Mouton of CBS New Orleans is reporting that Sunseri’s injury is believed to be serious and perhaps season-ending. While speculation is never a good idea, it is hard to ignore a player in obvious pain being carted off the field, clutching his knee.
The depth of the safeties was believed to be a major strength for New Orleans and its embattled defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan. However, if Sunseri is lost for the year, that leaves Jairus Byrd and Kenny Vaccaro. Byrd is still recovering from torn meniscus that was sustained last October. Byrd has yet to practice or play in any preseason games, and remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list. If he remains on that list into the regular season, he will miss at least six games by league rule.
New Orleans is really hoping for improved play out of Vaccaro, a first-round pick out of the University of Texas in 2013. Vaccaro appeared lost at times last year in Ryan’s scheme, shown by his -19.0 grade by Pro Football Focus, which ranked him 85th of 87 safeties across the National Football League.
Sunseri is entering his second season out of the University of Alabama. Last year, Sunseri made five tackles and did not amass an interception.