Saints injury update raises worries of looming catastrophe

Saints offensive lineman Ryan Ramczyk is searching for a solution to a potentially career-ending injury.

New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk
New Orleans Saints offensive tackle Ryan Ramczyk / Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints haven't exactly gotten their offense to click in 2023. Quarterback Derek Carr has been injured and ineffective. Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael has looked out of his depth. The former should be back in 2024. The latter may not be. But whoever is running the show in New Orleans will certainly want All-Pro right tackle Ryan Ramczyk anchoring the offensive line.

Unfortunately, there's a question around that.

Ramczyk has missed games against the Giants and Rams because of a nagging knee injury that could ultimately end his career, according to
Katherine Terrell of ESPN.

Ryan Ramczyk hoping for solution to career-threatening injury

The offensive lineman has a defect with the cartilage in his knee. Apparently, there isn't much left, leaving him to deal with serious pain. It got to the point he could no longer play through it and he's set to miss a third game against the Bucs this weekend. Now he's planning to speak with doctors about fixing the issue this offseason.

As to whether a fix is even possible? "I don't know," Ramczyk said. "...I'll talk with surgeons, doctors, get as much as information as I can and then just make the best decision."

The decision Ramczyk has to make is about retiring or continuing to play. He told ESPN he wants to play. That's not the issue. But if a solution can't be found for his knee it may not be possible for the 29-year-old to continue.

For the Saints, that's a problem. First and foremost, Ramczyk is a key piece on their offensive line. He's also got three years left on his current deal with a cap hit of $27 million in 2024. And his dead cap number for 2024 if the Saints were to release him would be $35 million.

So if the doctors don't come up with a solution, New Orleans will have to find a way to restructure Ramczyk's deal to spread the money out in a more cap-friendly configuration. Either way, it would be a hit for the team on the field and in the finances.

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