Trevor Penning injury update: Saints first-rounder carted off with apparent lower-body injury

A meaningless preseason touchdown could have a big impact on the Saints’ 2022 season.

In the first quarter of New Orleans’ preseason fight against the Chargers on Friday, Mark Ingram ended a drive with a jump into the end zone. At the back of the game, tight end Juwan Johnson accidentally speared Saints first-round pick Trevor Penning, who fell to the ground.

After going to the injury tent, Penning was carried off the field for further evaluation.

Penning, who finished 19th overall after the Saints hit wide receiver Chris Olave with the 11th pick, was drafted to fill the spot on blindside play Terron Armstead, who played in free hands this offseason Dolphins departed.

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The Saints have traditionally emphasized using a six-man offensive line rotation in the event of injury.

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Penning has been battling with veteran James Hurst for the left tackle starting spot. Hurst also deals with health issues. He was pulled from training with the Packers last week with a foot injury.

After Penning and Hurst, the Saints don’t really have anyone who can attack on the left.

With that in mind, a serious injury to Penning is a serious injury to the team. While the cart is an ominous sign, the preseason is a time for extreme caution by NFL teams.

Penning has earned a reputation for snazzy gameplay and a mean streak. His violent blocking style made waves at the Senior Bowl and carried over into the NFL, to the point where he was at war with his own teammates at training camp.

The game in which he was injured was clearly not a consequence of that. It seemed like Penning was out of position on a trap play and ended up in the crossfire of a Johnson blindside hit.

The Sporting News will update this story once the extent of Penning’s injury is known.

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