It was a rough time for Jack Tabb.

After hooking on with the Saints as an undrafted rookie last season, he was starting to make an impact during training camp when he went down and clutched his knee during training camp last summer. He was carted off the field with a torn ACL, which effectively ended his season.

“It hurt me,” Tabb said. “As soon as I felt like I started making some plays, moving up, getting more reps, it all just kind of went like that. God works in mysterious ways, right?”

There is still mystery about what Tabb can do as a player. During his best season at North Carolina, he caught 26 passes for 257 yards. That was likely more the result of the offense not providing the athletic tight end with opportunities, but it also makes it difficult to expect moving forward.

Tabb is now to the point where he’s starting to get back in the mix and is hopeful he can get on the field and answer whatever questions remain about his ability in the near future.

He wishes he could have done that last year, but there was a bright side to having to sit out the whole season.

“Watching Ben Watson and Josh (Hill) and how they handled the season (was valuable),” Tabb said. “I know it’s a hard transition going into your rookie season. Just being able to sit back, get healthy and watch was a blessing as well.”

Tabb enters this season in the mix with Chris Manhertz and RaShaun Allen for a roster spot behind Hill, Michael Hoomanawanui and Coby Fleener. The battle for the final roster spot — if one even exists — will be a highly-contested battle.

Tabb, who will be in the mix as a flex tight end, is exited to get back on the field and go to work.

“I think (the competition) is great. I really like the room,” Tabb said. “Obviously, Coby is new. He has a lot of input, he’s been making plays up in Indy quite a while. Me, Chris, RaShuan — we’re the young guys in the room. We’re all fight and scratching. We all got something a little different we bring to the table.”