Saints C/G Cesar Ruiz will make his NFL Debut

BtBoylan

After missing the Saints Week 1 matchup against Tampa Bay, the 24th overall selection of the 2020 NFL draft is expected to make his NFL debut on Monday. OL Cesar Ruiz has battled an ankle injury that kept him from taking the field last Sunday but he was a full participant in practice Friday. Saints Head Coach Sean Payton confirmed his full return to practice and is excited to have Ruiz back.

Ruiz
C/G Cesar Ruiz at Saints Practice - Credit: WVUE

The Saints' first-round pick of the 2020 NFL Draft “was not drafted to be a backup.” According to Pro Football Focus, Ruiz was considered the nation’s best-blocking center in the 2020 NFL Draft. Ruiz has practiced at both center and right guard during Saints Training Camp. Erik McCoy, who started 16 games at center last season, was the Saints starter at C in Week 1 with Nick Easton playing at RG. Ruiz will continue to "work at both spots," according to Head Coach Sean Payton.

The former Michigan Wolverine has high expectations this season, replacing 3x Pro-Bowl RG Larry Warford. Saints News Network's John Hendrix named Ruiz the 18th most important Saints player ahead of the 2020 season.

With the team moving on from Warford, who is still a free agent currently, Ruiz has a lot to live up to as a rookie. The hope is to be what Erik McCoy was last season. Ruiz has a great supporting cast alongside him in Ryan Ramczyk if he does become the right guard. Ruiz is also confident that he can play anywhere on the interior offensive line. New Orleans has one of the best offensive lines in the league, and Ruiz has the intelligence and skill to come in and make a strong impact from the jump.

John Hendrix on Cesar Ruiz's 2020 Outlook

Ruiz and the Saints travel to Las Vegas to take on the newly relocated Las Vegas Raiders. Monday Night's matchup will be the NFL's first game ever to be played in Las Vegas. ABC and ESPN will broadcast the game set for 7:15 PM CST kickoff.

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