New Orleans Saints to place LB Dannell Ellerbe on IR

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ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Dannell Ellerbe #59 of the New Orleans Saints breaks up a pass intended for Levine Toilolo #80 of the Atlanta Falcons during the first half at the Georgia Dome on January 1, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Dannell Ellerbe Placed on IR

The New Orleans Saints announced today that they would be placing linebacker Dannell Ellerbe on IR with a foot injury. The news of Ellerbe’s injury is a nice summation of the last few years of Saints defense, when he shows up, he is borderline dominate…unfortunately that is rare as he as only played in 15 of the possible 32 games he has been under contract for. Injuries have plagued the talented Ellerbe since 2014 where he only appeared in one game for the Dolphins before going on season ending IR there as well before eventually being acquired by New Orleans via a trade for WR Kenny Stills and a 3rd round pick.

As the Saints seem prepared to move forward into training camp with an almost entirely new group of young linebackers, one of the starting outside linebackers spots and seemingly opened up in the wake of Ellerbe’s release. A.J. Klein, Craig Robertson and rookie Alex Anzalone will all get looked at even harder now as training camp gets into full swing for the Saints this week. But Ellerbe was easily the Saint’s best cover linebacker when healthy so this could add yet another question mark to the Saints defense going into the season.

Losing a veteran presence like Ellerbe will also put even more focus on the team’s new defensive coaching staff, specifically new line backing coach Mike Nolan who was brought in to replace Joe Vitt this off-season. He has his work cut out for him and if he can create even a passable line backing unit it gives the Saints something they haven’t had in years.

 

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