The New Orleans Saints were dealt a big blow during their Divisional Round win on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles when defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins was carted off early in the game.

On Monday, a MRI revealed the worst as Rankins was diagnosed with a torn Achilles. A body blow for sure to the teams Super Bowl hopes as he was finally coming into his own as an elite defensive player for the Saints.

In 2018 Rankins was having a career year in a couple categories, tackles (41) and sacks (8) as well as being an elite run stopper for a team who ranked second in the league stopping the run.

At 24 years old he'll have a shot to return either late in the 2019 season or might have to sit out and rehab until 2020 depending how the rehab process goes. However, he can look to one of his teammates for motivation in defensive end Alex Okafor who tore his Achilles November 19 against the Washington Redskins last year. It took Okafor about 10 months to get back on the field, hopefully Rankins will follow that timeline and if that's the case then the Saints could expect him to return for the back half of the 2019 regular season.

As for who will fill the shoes of Rankins, it'll be David Onyemata a guy who has played in every game this season, the drop off shouldn't be major as he's also had a nice season with a career high in sacks of 4.5.

 

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