“Listen, that’s a big blow. I’m not going to lie,” Brees told Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune on Tuesday.
“He worked so hard to come back and to have something like that with a freaky injury, I’m really saddened for him and for our team. He plays a huge role. We always find ways and we have to have these young guys step up. We don’t know exactly how that shakes things up.”
Armstead’s recovery is set to last 4-6 months, leaving a huge void at one of the offensive line’s most crucial positions. He has struggled with injuries his entire career, never playing a full 16-game season — he was limited to seven games in 2016.
Nonetheless, the Saints need to fill the gap if Brees wishes to throw for more than 5,000 yards again, as he’s done an NFL-best five times in his career. More importantly, the team needs to be firing on all cylinders if it wishes to return the playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Jordan said the Saints are ready to win the Super Bowl with their current roster, but first things first: find a left tackle. Veteran Khalif Barnes looks ready to step in, but coach Sean Payton has 2017 first-round selection Ryan Ramczyk at the ready as well.
Brees said he’s open to finding a veteran on the market to help protect his blindside, but it remains to be seen if New Orleans will make an effort to bolster its line before the start of the season.
“We’ve got some tough circumstances we’re dealing with right now,” Brees said.