For the New Orleans Saints, one of the most important training camp battles will be the left tackle spot. Charles Brown and rookie Terron Armstead are the clear favorites to win the position, and there is only one thing that can hold them back, an injury.
Brown has recently been taking reps with the first team and it has been said that he has been looking good. However, Brown has had a history of injuries and head coach Sean Payton has said in the past that Brown’s durability is a major concern. For now, Brown has been injury-free since returning from a back injury he suffered earlier in the offseason and looks like he could win the starting left tackle spot if he can stay healthy.
Armstead, the Saints’ third-round pick of this year’s draft, had been taking first team reps only a few weeks ago. Now Armstead is dealing with an abdominal injury which has limited him a little this offseason. Armstead figures to be Brown’s biggest competition for the starting left tackle spot. if he can’t stay healthy, his chances of starting are decreased.
For both offensive tackles, it will come down to who can stay healthy enough to protect Drew Brees’ blind side on a regular basis. The Saints also have former number-two overall pick Jason Smith in the mix, but it is clear that the team feels more confident with Brown and Armstead.
Brown has more experience in the NFL, but Armstead has more upside and could be a long-term solution at left tackle. Whichever player does win the starting job will be determined by proving they can stay healthy and be durable enough to play a full NFL season.