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Saints' Andrus Peat suffers broken thumb, timetable to return unclear

New Orleans' stellar offensive line has suffered a bit of a blow.

Pro Bowl left guard Andrus Peat has a broken thumb, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source informed of the situation. Peat has been sidelined with what was called a hand injury, missing Monday's first day of padded practice.

Peat has not been ruled out for Saints' season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but his timetable for return is unclear and will depend on whether he needs surgery.

It's impossible to predict an injury, but this one seems to come with a wish to turn back time. In the spring, New Orleans drafted Michigan interior lineman Cesar Ruiz in the first round, clearing the way for the Saints to part ways with Pro Bowl guard Larry Warford, who was about to enter a contract year.

Presumably, the Saints would proceed forward with an offensive line that started Peat at left guard, second-year center Erik McCoy, and Ruiz at right guard. With Peat's status now uncertain, the Saints will be forced to turn elsewhere to fill the void for an undetermined amount of time.

Warford is still a free agent, but reportedly voluntarily opted out of being pursued by any interested team at the end of July. It's unclear whether his lack of a contract with any team would bind him to any finality in regards to his reported decision to opt out, or whether such a decision holds any legitimate weight at all.

This could all be irrelevant by Week 1, of course, if Peat's injury doesn't require surgery and he can suit up for Week 1. After all, this is the same lineman who played through a broken forearm for two weeks at the end of last season.

For now, though, a crack in New Orleans' rock-solid offensive line has started to show. We'll see how quickly they can patch it up.

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