The New Orleans Saints have been handed a blow today as it looks like one of their key starters is set to sit out the opening weeks of the 2015 NFL season.
According to NFL guru Ian Rapoport, the Louisiana franchise's starting left cornerback, Keenan Lewis, is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines following hip surgery.
Lewis' injury only adds to the strain on the Saints' defence with the likes of Kenny Vaccaro and Brandon Browner also dealing with injury issues at present.
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But, unlike his fellow secondary stars who are expected back in the not to distant future, Lewis is facing up to missing a significant chunk of the 2015 campaign.
With Jairus Byrd also out for an undisclosed length of time, Lewis' injury means the Saints must face up to the fact that their offseason work to make their secondary elite again appears to have been undone by injury.
Although the team did sign former Miami Dolphins CB Sammy Seamster off waivers earlier this week to compete at the position, Lewis will be very difficult to replace.
Keenan Lewis registered 40 tackles and two interceptions in 2014 and was expected to be a leader on the Saints defense in 2015.
The 4-6 time frame for his recovery from surgery though means that New Orleans will likely be without the star until at least Week 4, and possibly beyond.
Saints fans: Can your team challenge for the NFC South in 2015, or is it asking too much? Have your say in the comments below...