Saints DE Noah Spence tore his ACL in an offseaon workout session. New Orleans placed Spence on the Reserve/Non-Football Injury list on Tuesday. Spence will not count towards the 90-man roster.
Noah Spence, 26, signed a one-year deal this summer to return to New Orleans in 2020. After spending the final three regular-season games of 2019 with the Saints, coaches expected Spence to compete as a rotational DE this offseason.
Per source, Saints DL coach Ryan Nielsen likes Spence and believed he could reshape some factions of his game to make him a superb situational player. Spence suffered the ACL injury during an individual workout to prepare for training camp. The injury is a blow to the Saints' plans for Spence as a pass rusher.
The explosive pass rusher from Ohio State transferred to Eastern Kentucky in 2015 after being ruled permanently ineligible by the Big Ten Conference following multiple failed drug tests. In 2015, Spence earned Ohio-Valley Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors and was a consensus FCS All-American. The College Football Performance Awards named Spence the FCS National Defensive Performer of the Year, and he entered the NFL Draft following his lone season at Eastern Kentucky.
Spence recorded 7.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 37 tackles in 41 career games in four NFL seasons. 5.5 of his sacks came with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during his rookie season. Spence earned NFC Defensive Rookie of the Month for November 2016. He posted 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles during November.
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