Adding injury to insult in their Week 16 loss to the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints rookie safety Kenny Vaccaro was carted off the field with an injury in the first quarter. Vaccaro, never one to play less than 100 percent in any situation, looked as if his leg had gotten caught in a pile up in the midst of making a play.
Early reports from television commentators had mentioned a possible broken ankle, but he was seen getting an air cast placed on his left leg after getting looked at and carted off the field. He did not return and no specifics will be available until sometime next week most likely.
Vaccaro has been a big part of the the defensive turn around behind Rob Ryan‘s installation at defensive coordinator and had been playing most of the defensive snaps since getting pegged as a starter at the beginning of the season. Vaccaro was one of the leading tacklers on the Saints and has only missed limited game time after having suffered a concussion in November.
His return will be crucial to New Orleans’ future, as he is highly versatile and is an explosive player on defense. His skill set will be needed in the weeks to come, especially since it looks like the Saints will enter the playoffs as a wild card team following their loss to the Panthers.
Thankfully, New Orleans can rely on veteran safety Roman Harper should Vaccaro’s injury cause him to miss extended time. Still, his presence on the field would be a bit reassuring given that the Saints’ future is uncertain at the moment.