The Saints might soon have to contemplate a future without Junior Galette.
The New Orleans pass rusher has reportedly suffered a pectoral injury and could potentially undergo surgery, according to Fox Sports.
Galette did not take part during Thursday’s organized team activity. With him sidelined, Anthony Spencer received the majority of the snaps at his position. The report states that it is unclear if Galette will be able to play through the injury. If he has to undergo surgery, he would likely be sidelined until at least the late portion of the season.
Galette was signed to a four-year, $41.5 million extension last season. He finished the year with 10 sacks.
While Spencer potentially could have cut into Galette’s snaps, the edge rusher still figured to be one of the key pieces of the defense. Losing him for any amount of time would be a big blow to the defense.
Ingram injury not serious
Mark Ingram didn’t practice this week, Saints coach Sean Payton said, but the running back’s injury is not expected to be serious.
Ingram also sat out last week’s organized team activity with what Payton termed then as a foot or ankle injury, but the move is strictly precautionary.
“We just sat him,” Payton said. “Today, we sat him. It’s nothing significant. This time of the year, we want to be smart and kind of go from there.”
Several other Saints were present at practice, but held out of any on-field work. Wide receiver Marques Colston, Galette and rookie defensive back Damian Swann were all present and in uniform but did not practice.
Rookie linebacker Davis Tull, who’s recovering from March surgery to repair a torn labrum, and safety Jamarca Sanford did not practice with the team, but both players were seen working with a trainer on the field at the beginning of practice.
Veteran linebacker Dannell Ellerbe missed practice for an undisclosed reason.
“He’s excused today,” Payton said. “Without getting into any specifics on everybody, it wasn’t injury related.”
A couple of young players, undrafted tight end Jack Tabb and defensive end Glenn Foster, did not appear to be at practice.
Potential pass catcher
The New Orleans Saints are interested in former Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham, Payton confirmed on Thursday afternoon.
Gresham, who underwent surgery in March to repair a herniated disc, flew into New Orleans from Dallas and left Wednesday, but Payton did say Gresham would be a good fit for a Saints offense looking to replace Jimmy Graham’s production at tight end.
“He’s a player we were obviously well aware of coming out of Oklahoma five years ago,” Payton said. “He’s recovering from an offseason surgery, and I thought the visit went pretty good.”
New Orleans already knows how Josh Hill and Benjamin Watson fit in the offense, but behind those two, the Saints are looking for a third tight end out of a group that includes 2014 practice squad member Orson Charles and a pair of undrafted free agents in Harold Spears and Tabb.
But Payton said the Saints are looking at Gresham more because he fits the offense than any concerns about depth. Over the past five seasons, Gresham has averaged 56 catches, 544 yards and five touchdowns per season.
“It would be about the fit,” Payton said. “I think there’s a fit for us if it works out, and he’s a guy that we’ve studied quite a bit now in the last couple of months.”
A little fun
During the middle of Thursday’s organized team activity, Payton let the team take a break by pitting the offense versus the defense in an unusual shootout-style competition catching punts from Thomas Morstead.
Payton didn’t exactly put guys like C.J. Spiller, Jalen Saunders or Brandin Cooks under the punts. Instead, guys like Terron Armstead, Cameron Jordan and Max Unger got their shot, and the defense came away with a win when Kaleb Eulls hung onto a high Morstead offering and Unger let one get away.
“It tells you a lot, doesn’t it?” Payton said. “You see who played baseball and who didn’t. It went into triple overtime, it was like hockey.”
After Unger’s drop, the offense had to do five up-downs.
And as unnatural as the motion had to be for most of the linemen, players like Armstead, Jordan and Parys Haralson moved pretty well under the punts.
“A few of those guys were impressive,” Payton said.
Season ticket info
Friday is the deadline for Saints season ticket holders to make their final payment for 2015 season tickets. Final payments can be made in person at 5800 Airline Drive in Metairie, by calling the ticket office at (504) 731-1700 or online at www.neworleanssaints.com.