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New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) and New Orleans Saints linebacker Gerald Hodges (50) celebrate Kamara's touchdown on a 106 yard kickoff return against Tampa Bay, Sunday, December 31, 2017, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay, Fla.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

The New Orleans Saints claimed offensive tackle John Theus off of waivers from the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, and the organization cut linebacker Gerald Hodges to make room for Theus. 

Theus, a former fifth-round pick out of Georgia by the San Francisco 49ers in 2016, spent one season with San Francisco and made one start, then spent all of last year with the Panthers. 

Hodges, on the other hand, became a key special-teams cog for the Saints last season after a wave of injuries hit the linebacker position. Brought in during the bye week, Hodges was frequently among the team leaders in special-teams snaps and made three tackles in the kicking game.

But the Saints will now get back the services of A.J. Klein, Alex Anzalone and special-teams ace Nathan Stupar this offseason, and Hodges never really factored into the plan on defense, despite continuing need at the position due to injury.

Hodges played just 13 snaps on defense all season long, and 11 of those came in a blowout win over Buffalo when New Orleans pulled its starters late in the game. 

Follow Joel A. Erickson on Twitter, @JoelAErickson.