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Saints Battle Depleted Linebacker Corp, Panthers Place RB Stewart on PUP List

As the deadline loomed for roster cuts on Tuesday afternoon, the New Orleans Saints (3-0) made some space by placing linebacker Victor Butler on the PUP list. This move comes as the team has hopes for Butler to return to action this season–possibly after the sixth week–after recovering from his June torn ACL.

Victor Butler

Victor Butler

For the Saints, its linebacker corp. has been hit by the injury bug. Also on Tuesday, linebackers Will Smith and Chris Chamberlain went to injured reserve thanks also to torn ACLs. Wide receiver Joe Morgan will join the duo.

So who’s left for this team in this depleted role? The team did waive linebacker Eric Martin but acquired linebacker Parys Haralson from a San Francisco 49ers trade and claimed defensive back Jumal Rolle off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

Haralson, an eight-year veteran, should be a great addition and is expected to get immediate playing time while fellow linebackers still remaining on the team, Junior Galette and Martez Wilson, are expected to take it up a notch in passing rushing.

Saints head coach Sean Payton said of his newest linebacker via the team’s website, “He’s a player there’s a lot of film on, he’s had a lot of experience as a starter there, he’s strong at the point of attack, he’s experienced in this system and he’s experienced and had success with a very good defense. Those are some things that, No. 1, you see on film. All his character and football IQ, all those things are outstanding.”

From the player’s tenure with the 49ers, Haralson amassed 295 tackles (170 solo), 21.5 sacks, four passes defensed, three forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries with 24 special teams stops, according to the Saints’ website.

At 3-0 in the preseason, the Saints are looking to get back to their old form with the return of Payton and with its new colorful defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. The team has its regular season win total at nine (-150 o, +120 u). For the playoffs, it sits with a -150 yes.

Panthers Lose Stewart to PUP List

As the Carolina Panthers (2-1) whittled its roster list down on Tuesday, it placed running back Jonathan Stewart on the PUP list. This came after the player spoke with his doctors about his injured right ankle.

Jonathan Stewart

Jonathan Stewart

In his absence, running back DeAngelo Williams will begin the season in the top spot followed by a combined use of Tauren Poole, Armond Smith and maybe rookie Kenjon Barner. Fullback Mike Tolbert is recovering from a hammy injury and could be added to the mix if he’s healthy for the team’s season opener against the Seattle Seahawks (3-0).

Stewart said of the news via ESPN.com, “I can spend all my energy being disappointed, or I can spend all my energy preparing myself for Week [7].  . . As of right now just taking it day by day. Just be there for my teammates and bring as much positive energy as I can. . . . We’ve got a long season ahead of us, and I plan to be back Week [7].”

Last season, Stewart had 93 carries for 336 yards and one touchdown.

Unfortunately for the Panthers, Stewart’s move to the PUP list wasn’t the only disappointing news on Tuesday. Rookie offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila has been placed on injured reserve from his hamstring and knee problems. He had been expected to contribute in the guard role as either a starter or a backup.

Anticipating problems on its o-line, the Panthers had signed free-agent veteran guard Travelle Wharton on Sunday to a one-year contract. This will be round two for Wharton with the team after he previously played for eight seasons for them. He was with the Cincinnati Bengals last season.

The Panthers need a good season and will enter it with a regular season win total of seven (-200 o, +160 u) and -260 no for the playoffs.


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