The New Orleans Saints lost more than a divisional game on Sunday, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports the team will likely be without starting offensive guard Andrus Peat for six weeks after the Pro Bowler suffered a broken arm against the Atlanta Falcons.
The fifth-year veteran exited the field and went into the injury tent during the second quarter of the Saints’ 26-9 upset loss to Atlanta, then left for the locker room early and did not return. According to Schefter, Peat underwent surgery for his arm on Wednesday and isn’t expected back until late December. A six-week recovery time-frame would potentially allow for the lineman to start New Orleans’ regular-season finale, a Dec. 29 matchup with the Carolina Panthers, but otherwise, he could be sidelined until the postseason.
The Saints could also still place Peat on injured reserve, but he would then be required to miss at least eight games, meaning he would need New Orleans to play at least two playoff games for a chance to return in 2019.
Drafted 13th overall by the Saints in 2015, the Stanford product earned his first Pro Bowl berth in 2018, starting along one of the NFL‘s highest-graded fronts on a run to the NFC Championship Game. He’s never played a full season with the Saints, however, missing nine games over his first four seasons in the NFL. An impending free agent playing under a $9.6 million fifth-year option, he suffered a season-ending broken fibula and high-ankle sprain during the 2017 playoffs.
In Peat’s absence, the Saints figure to call upon second-year reserve Will Clapp, who’s also taken reps at center. A seventh-round pick in 2018, he’s already got three starts under his belt and filled in for Peat during Sunday’s loss.