Saints still shuffling linebackers

September, 6, 2010
9/06/10
5:53
PM ET
With Jonathan Casillas lost to a foot injury, New Orleans coach Sean Payton isn’t saying who will open the season as the starter at weakside linebacker.

Payton said Monday that no official decision has been made, and a public announcement won’t be made until the defense takes the field Thursday night against Minnesota.

If I had to guess, I’d say Jo-Lonn Dunbar opens in that spot, but I don’t know that he’ll stay there for long. This position is in flux with the Saints. Clint Ingram, who also was supposed to be a candidate to start, is on the physically-unable-to-perform list, which means he can’t play in the first six games.

The Saints signed former Houston linebacker Danny Clark on Monday, and he did an earlier stint with the Saints. That could help get him on the field quickly. But I'm not sure the Saints are completely done making roster moves at linebacker.

“(Clark) is someone that we had here a couple of years ago and we practiced against him when Houston was here (in the preseason),’’ Payton said. “He’s a physical player; he’s a first- and second-down type player that has good size and carries his pads pretty well. Certainly his physicality is something that we’ve seen and actually had when he was here prior. Those would be some of the attributes that you would see from him. He can play in a nine-technique on the line of scrimmage, he can play back in a bubble and he is strong.”

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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