One of the key cogs in the New Orleans Saints defensive line in Sheldon Rankins is expected to start the season on the injured reserve but has recovered nicely from an Achilles injury that he suffered during the postseason.
As first reported by Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the former Louisville Cardinal was taken off of the PUP list on Monday.
The #Saints are expected to activate standout DL Sheldon Rankins from the PUP list, source said. After an Achilles tear in the playoffs, this means Rankins is right on track.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 26, 2019
Rankins practiced with the team on Monday ahead of the preseason finale against the Miami Dolphins this Thursday. Don’t expect him to be ready for the season opener against the Houston Texans on September 9th, but it is a great sign that he will be ready come week eight and it’s much needed considering the depth along the defensive line leaves a lot to be desired with David Onyemata suspended for the season opener in two weeks.
Payton said after practice that it was encouraging to have Rankins out there, but the head coach isn’t ready to commit to a definitive return date.
“I’m not going to put a time clock on when we think he’ll be able to play because obviously, the injury he had was significant,” Payton said. “But he’s worked really hard to put himself in that position.”