Jun 14, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (99) during the first day of minicamp sessions at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
5# SHELDON RANKINS, 3-TECHNIQUE DEFENSIVE TACKLE
Rankins, the team’s 1st round draft choice from Louisville, broke his leg early in preseason and has yet to see a down of regular season action.
By most accounts, Rankins seems on track to return from injured reserve by Week 9 or Week 10, though it’s a bit unclear if the Saints are erring on the side of caution, or simply being coy about the extent of his injury.
He will hopefully provide a sorely needed presence in the heart of the Saints defensive line that has performed pitifully at times thus far, despite their increased sack total from this time a year ago (which really isn’t saying all that much).
When he returns, Rankins could be THE one player that has been “M.I.A.”, who potentially has the most opportunity to “jumpstart” the Saints season, because of his notable play-making ability at both rushing the passer, and “blowing up” plays in the backfield while defending against the run.