The New Orleans Saints were able to get by the Philadelphia Eagles 26-24 yesterday on a game-winning field goal, but it sounds like they lost a solid starting linebacker for the rest of the postseason. Per a source close to FOX Sports’s Mike Garafolo, the Saints “believe” that Haralson tore his pectoral in yesterday’s game, and, if true, Haralson would need surgery and would undoubtedly be out for the rest of the playoffs. Former NFL head physician David J. Chao stated that he thinks the injury is a torn pectoral (he tweeted these thoughts in real time) based on what he saw in the game, and so it would be a surprise if Haralson suffered a different injury; Garafolo also isn’t the only insider reporting this injury.
Haralson went down in the second quarter with a chest injury and was immediately ruled doubtful to return. Veteran Will Herring came into the lineup for Haralson, and the injury immediately did not look good. Again, the Saints will almost certainly not have Haralson back for the remainder of the playoffs.
It’s an injury that will hurt them, but it’s not a huge loss. While Haralson was a solid starter for the Saints this season, his injury isn’t a huge blow. Plus, the biggest injury that the Saints need to watch for is the head injury that star CB Keenan Lewis suffered early in the second half, because he is their most important player on defense. He’s broken out to be a true shut down corner this season, and he’s one of the league’s best press CBs. Lewis and his physicality can shut down top receivers (he shut down DeSean Jackson yesterday before going down, and the Saints defense was much worse after his injury), and it gives Rob Ryan a lot more flexibility on defense.
Haralson was a steal of a deal for the Saints when they acquired him from the San Francisco 49ers shortly before the season started, and his 30 tackles and 3.5 sacks of production will be missed.