New Orleans Saints right tackle Zach Strief suffered a groin injury in the Saints’ week nine victory against the Philadelphia Eagles. Strief left the game in the third quarter and did not return. He is the starting right tackle for the Saints and their offensive line is one of the best in the league.
In addition to being the starting right tackle, Strief was selected as one of the team captains this season, a first for him in his eight year career. Strief is part of an offensive line that has given up only 15 sacks this seasons and they have done their best to keep quarterback Drew Brees upright.
Strief has been instrumental in helping Brees throw for 2,549 yards and 22 touchdowns this season. The offensive line has been great in pass protection, but they have not fared that well in run blocking. The Saints have only rushed for 648 yards, which is ranked 30th in the NFL. Furthermore, the Saints only have four rushing touchdowns on the season. Part of the reason for the low rushing numbers is the type of offense the Saints play, which is pass heavy. However, the offensive line needs to do a better job of opening up the running lanes for the running backs.
Strief’s status is unsure for week ten but, with his type of injury I would not expect him to play against the Atlanta Falcons. If he does not play, offensive tackle Charles Brown could be the first player to replace him. Brown was actually Strief’s replacement when he went down with the injury against Eagles. Another player who could possibly replace Strief would be rookie offensive tackle Bryce Harris.
His potential absence should not be too much of an issue because the Saints are very deep on their offensive line. If Strief does miss time, I know another player will step up and fill the void.