METAIRIE, La. — The hits just keep on coming for the New Orleans Saints this offseason.
Left tackle Terron Armstead is expected to miss four to six months after suffering a torn labrum in his shoulder during Wednesday’s practice, a source confirmed. The news was first reported by the NFL Network.
It’s unclear whether there is any expectation that he will be able to return by the end of the season.
Armstead, 25, is one of the best young tackles in the NFL, and he signed a contract extension worth $13 million per year. His past two seasons have been plagued by nagging knee and quad issues — and now the shoulder injury.
Armstead appeared in seven games last year because of the knee and quad issues. He appeared in 13 games in 2015, but his quality play that season prompted coach Sean Payton to say, “There’s not a left tackle I would trade him for in the league.”
The Saints rewarded him with the lucrative five-year extension the following summer.
Armstead (6-foot-5, 304 pounds) originally came to New Orleans as a third-round draft pick out of Arkansas-Pine Bluff after he set the NFL scouting combine record for the fastest 40-yard dash by an offensive lineman (4.71 seconds). He became a starter in December of his rookie year and has started 36 career games.
This is the latest blow for a Saints team that also lost standout center Max Unger for the summer because of foot surgery and could potentially lose standout defensive tackle Nick Fairley because of concerns over a heart issue.
Third-year pro Andrus Peat could potentially slide over from left guard to left tackle to replace Armstead — as he did when Armstead missed games last year. That is Peat’s natural position and where he excelled in college for Stanford.
The Saints also drafted Wisconsin left tackle Ryan Ramczyk with the 32nd pick in this year’s draft, though their plan was to play him at right tackle, where he would eventually replace veteran Zach Strief.