Report: New Orleans Saints Tight End Juwan Johnson To Miss Time With Leg Injury

Saints lose a key offensive weapon with no timetable for return, according to reports.
New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson (83) evades Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid (20) after a reception
New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson (83) evades Kansas City Chiefs safety Justin Reid (20) after a reception / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports
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New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson will evidently miss some time, at least this summer. According to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, Johnson 'suffered a lower leg injury and is expected to miss a 'good amount of time'.

The nature of Johnson's injury, or when it was sustained, isn't yet clear. Nor is there a timetable for his return. This news broke following the second day of mandatory mini-camp for the Saints on Wednesday. Johnson was not present at practice for either of the first two days.


New Orleans has scheduled a workout with former New Orleans Breakers (USFL) and Arlington Renegades (XFL/UFL) TE Sal Cannella on Thursday. Saints backup tight end Michael Jacobson left Tuesday's practice early, according to John Hendrix of the Saints News Network, but was back on Wednesday. Tommy Hudson has also not been at practice.


Veteran TE Foster Moreau returns from last year's squad. The Saints also have undrafted rookie Dallin Holker, who made a strong first impression at last month's OTA sessions. Taysom Hill could also see more reps at tight end, but he's at his best when used out of the backfield.

New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson (83) catches a pass for a touchdown against the New York Giants
New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson (83) catches a pass for a touchdown against the New York Giants / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Jimmy Graham may also be an option.  Graham, 37, returned to the Saints last year after starring for the team from 2010 to 2014.  However, it isn't clear whether he will retire and is currently training for a rowing expedition across the Arctic Ocean.

Graham posted a thank you to the Saints and their fans on his Instagram account in March and has been noncommittal about his future plans.  In an interview with ESPN this week, he said "I'm gonna reach out to the Saints and figure out what's best, and then make the decision on when it's best for me to retire,".

Johnson, 27, is entering his fifth season with the Saints after being signed as an undrafted rookie out of Oregon in 2020.  A converted wideout, Johnson moved to tight end in 2022 and has 96 career catches for 1,074 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Johnson's breakout season was his first as a tight end in 2022, catching 42 passes for 508 yards and a team-high 7 scores.  Last season, he pulled in 37 receptions for 368 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games.

Johnson was expected to play a big role in new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak's system this season.  His receiving skills and route running ability provides a mismatch for opposing defenses.  Hopefully, he'll be able to return to action soon.  The Saints officially open training camp on July 24.


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Bob Rose

BOB ROSE

Covers the New Orleans Saints as a senior writer for the Saints News Network.  Co-Host of the Bayou Blitz Podcast.