Saints OT Trevor Penning suffers torn ligament in foot, out indefinitely

The New Orleans Saints' No. 19 overall pick will have a delayed start to the regular season.

Left tackle Trevor Penning suffered a torn ligament in his foot during Friday's preseason game against the Chargers and will need surgery, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Saturday, per sources. The first-round rookie is out indefinitely.

Penning played 10 snaps in the preseason finale before he was carted to the locker room from the sidelines.

The University of Northern Iowa product and heir apparent to the now-departed Terron Armstead had an uneven start to his rookie campaign. Before any games had been played, he made headlines by getting kicked out of practice after partaking in an altercation with a teammate for the third time in as many days. New Orleans had sought Penning's services in the trenches due in part to his pugnacious attitude -- although the intent was to direct that toward opponents rather than within the squad.

Head coach Dennis Allen told reporters at the time that the issue would be addressed, and to Penning's credit, stories of camp scuffles from Saints camp did not continue.

New Orleans gave Penning heavy usage throughout the preseason. He played 53 offensive snaps against the Texans and 42 against the Packers. He struggled in his first-ever NFL action, allowing a sack and receiving a 38.5 pass blocking grade from PFF, but he did improve to 69.5 in the team's second contest versus Green Bay.

Penning was in a position battle with James Hurst, who is dealing with a foot issue of his own, for the starting left tackle job throughout camp. For what it's worth, the Saints have Hurst listed first on their unofficial depth chart.

Given Penning's injury and Allen telling reporters following Friday's game that the team expects Hurst back "sooner than later," the line ahead of quarterback Jameis Winston appears destined to be bookended by Hurst and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk.

The focus for Penning now shifts toward recovery and an eventual return to the much-needed reps he requires as he continues polishing his game at the professional level.

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