The New Orleans Saints, after a disappointing 2014 and the departure of a number of high profile players over the offseason, know that they will need all their top names to be firing on all cylinders this year if they are to bounce back in 2015.
So when reports emerged last month that Junior Galette, one of the few bright spots in a dark year for the Saints defense, could miss the entirety of the 2015 campaign with a pectoral injury there was a collective groan of despair from the New Orleans faithful.
Today, though, a meeting between Galette and renowned doctor, James Andrews, has shed new light on what the immediate future holds.
Galette future looked bleak when he suffered a pectoral injury whilst lifting weights at the beginning of June but, according to Ian Rapoport, both he and the Saints have been handed a huge boost with news that the pass-rusher will not require surgery as had previously been expected.
Rapoport, in what is a dramatic turnaround from previously pessimistic predictions, went on to reveal that Galette could actually be ready to go from the off when the 2015 season rolls around.
Galette racked up 10 sacks in 2014 and was the Saints' best defensive player last season in a year where Rob Ryan's group took a big step backwards.
Being without him for the 2015 campaign, then, would have been a nightmare scenario for the franchise who would have had to heap even more responsibility on fellow pass-rusher Cam Jordan.
The type of injury Galette was believed to have suffered usually rules players out for around six months. If the team were able to get him back in uniform in under three it would be a huge relief for all concerned.
With the likes of Jimmy Graham and Kenny Still having departed on offense there remain question marks about how the team will perform with the football in hand. Having an imposing defense, then, is a must if the Saints are to mount a serious challenge for the NFC South divisional title.
Galette's presence in the lineup will not be enough on its own to ensure New Orleans put on a better showing in 2015, but it is certainly a start.
Saints fans: Is the 2015 roster good enough to win the division, or does another season of failure lie ahead? Have your say in the comments below...
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