The New Orleans Saints have lost some crucial roster versatility. According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleansFootball.com, fourth-year linebacker and consistent member of the special teams Andrew Dowell tore his ACL during training camp on Wednesday and will be sidelined for the whole season.
Further testing has led Dowell and the team to this sad conclusion even though the injury was first not thought to be that bad. Although he was unlikely to move up the depth chart, the 26-year-old was often getting practice time due to his effectiveness on special teams. Last year, Dowell caused two fumbles for the Saints.
The undrafted free agent who played for Michigan State for four years signed with the Dallas Cowboys in 2019. His stay there was brief, and he eventually left for New Orleans in November. After signing a new contract in April, Dowell was getting ready to begin his fourth season with the team.
The next man up ethos was a cornerstone of the Saints' success throughout the Sean Payton era. They were able to overcome their lack of talent thanks to their depth, balance, and attention to detail. Dennis Allen was a key component of that effective improvisation, but his current position as head coach gives him a considerably larger responsibility. After having trouble in his first season as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints and the then-Oakland Raiders, he is under pressure to lead a football club to success.
It will be more difficult for Allen and the Saints to make all the tiny adjustments necessary if they lose a reliable auxiliary player like Andrew Dowell. To make sure this team is prepared to satisfy expectations by opening kickoff, others will need to step up even more during training camp.