Saints will have to shuffle LBs after injury

June, 12, 2013
6/12/13
12:05
PM ET
There’s some devastating news Wednesday involving the New Orleans Saints.

It turns out that outside linebacker Victor Butler reportedly has a torn ACL and likely will spend the season on injured reserve. Butler suffered the injury in a Tuesday workout when he banged knees with running back Mark Ingram.

That’s a huge blow because the Saints were counting on Butler to be a cornerstone as they try to recover from having the league’s worst defense last season. Butler had been handpicked by defensive coordinator Rob Ryan when he signed as a free agent in March. Butler and Ryan worked together in Dallas last season, and the Saints had big plans for him.

With Butler out, the Saints will have to juggle things at linebacker. Curtis Lofton and Jonathan Vilma are set as the inside linebackers and Will Smith seems the likely starter at the “Jack’’ linebacker spot.

Martez Wilson, Junior Galette and rookie Rufus Johnson now become the candidates to take Butler’s spot. All three of those guys have some potential, but they don’t have the same familiarity with Ryan’s defense as Butler did.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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