August 11, 2009

Linebacker depth takes a hit with injury to Simoneau

A torn right triceps injury to Marc Simoneau thins out the veterancy in the reserve linebacking corps.

The primary backup to middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma and the ostensible competition for Scott Shanle at weakside linebacker will have surgery on Wednesday to repair the problem.

The Saints have to make a tough decision, whether to keep the limited but veteran Simoneau around but inactive, or to shelve him for the season with the injured reserve list.

Its also possible the Saints could release Simoneau with a tacit injury settlement and plans to re-sign him later, the same tactic they used with Hollis Thomas in 2008. Thomas, who also had a triceps injury, was a free agent for two months before recovering from the injury and re-signing in early November.

Charles Grant also suffered the same injury last season.

In Simoneau's place for now, Marvin Mitchell will move into the primary backup role at middle linebacker, and Anthony Waters will move into the primary backup job at weakside linebacker.

Its now technically the third loss to strike the Saints at weakside linebacker. The retirement of Dan Morgan, the injury to draft pick rookie Stanley Arnoux and now the injury to Simoneau all ended efforts to replace or back up starter Scott Shanle.

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