June 24, 2024

The New Orleans Saints are facing concerning news regarding their standout tackle, as Ryan Ramczyk’s injury issues appear more severe than initially anticipated. Reports surfaced Tuesday morning indicating significant doubts about Ramczyk’s ability to play in the upcoming season due to ongoing knee problems.

Saints: RT Ryan Ramczyk's knee not recovering as quickly as hoped - ESPN

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweeted, “The Saints are preparing for the real possibility that OT Ryan Ramczyk is medically not able to play this season.”

This announcement came shortly after New Orleans coach Dennis Allen expressed uncertainty about Ramczyk’s health progress. Despite initial optimism conveyed at the NFL Combine, Allen admitted reservations regarding the condition of Ramczyk’s knee, especially considering the knee procedure he underwent in the offseason after missing the final four games of the previous season. Allen stated, “I don’t know that I’m seeing as much progress as I was hoping to see at this point… I think we’re going to have to wait and see how that all goes as we go through all the offseason and as we get into the training camp aspect.”

Ramczyk, who signed a lucrative five-year, $96 million deal before the 2022 season, holds the title of the highest-paid right tackle in the NFL. Despite his accolades as a first-team All-Pro in 2019 and second-team in 2018 and 2020, concerns about his availability are heightened by the restructuring of his contract this offseason, reducing his salary cap hit to $12.8 million. However, this figure is set to increase significantly to $29.6 million and $26.8 million in 2025 and 2026, respectively.

Should Ramczyk be sidelined for the entirety of the 2024 season, the Saints will face a critical need to address both tackle positions. Even with the 29-year-old healthy, securing a left tackle was already a priority. While Landon Young, a 2021 sixth-round pick, temporarily filled in for Ramczyk last season, he may not offer a permanent solution. Furthermore, although the Saints selected tackle Trevor Penning in the first round of the 2022 draft, his performance led to him being benched in 2023. With the 14th and 45th overall picks in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft, New Orleans is now under heightened pressure to select a tackle with at least one of those selections given the recent developments regarding Ramczyk’s health.

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