The Saints continued the tweaks to their training camp roster Tuesday, signing a pair of undrafted rookies at the positions of nose tackle and outside linebacker while waiving a player they had put on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list Monday.
The new Saints players are Tyrone Ezell — a nose tackle out of the University of Pittsburgh — and Marcus Thompson, a linebacker out of Rutgers. The waived player is outside linebacker Cheta Ozougwu, who the Saints said failed his physical after being sidelined for offseason practices with an undisclosed injury.
Thompson is apparently occupying the former spot of Ozougwu, who was on PUP for a day before being cut. Ezell will apparently take a spot left vacant when undrafted rookie nose tackle Moses McCray out of Akron was waived Monday. McCray cleared the waiver unclaimed Tuesday and is a free agent.
Ezell, listed at 6-foot-4 and 305 pounds, joins New Orleans after spending part of the offseason with the Texans. Before bench-pressing 225 pounds 22 times at the scouting combine in February, he was a team captain for Pittsburgh, for whom he started 12 games at nose tackle as a senior. The native of Munhall, Pennsylvania, had 34 tackles and two sacks, and he helped Pittsburgh clinch a victory in the Little Caesars Bowl in Detroit in December with a late sack.
Thompson, 6-foot-1 and 250 pounds, arrives in New Orleans after being with the Dolphins for a portion of the 2014 offseason. In four seasons at Rutgers, the Miami-area native played 42 games (starting 26) and amassed 91 tackles, 13.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble. He was named his team’s co-defensive MVP in 2013 while playing defensive end.
Thompson actually spent some time at fullback for Rutgers’ offense in 2010 and 2011.
The moves followed the Saints’ decision Monday to place second-year nose tackle John Jenkins on PUP and rookie offensive tackle Tavon Rooks on the non-football injury list. There have been no official details on the injuries to either hurt player, though NFL Network in June reported Jenkins underwent minor surgery on a pectoral muscle in the offseason.
The Saints report to training camp at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia on Thursday, and practice begins Friday morning.