After missing offseason practices, Saints nose tackle John Jenkins and outside linebacker Cheta Ozougwu appeared on the physically unable to perform list Monday, three days before their team reports to training camp in West Virginia on Thursday.
Meanwhile, first-year tackle Tavon Rooks — a sixth-round pick in May — landed on the nonfootball injury list, and undrafted rookie defensive tackle Moses McCray was waived, the NFL transaction wire showed. Rooks was healthy for offseason practices, but McCray sat out.
The exact nature of the players’ injuries were not disclosed, but NFL Network this offseason reported that Jenkins was recovering from minor surgery on a pectoral muscle. There’s no telling how long Jenkins, Ozougwu and Rooks may be out of practice. They can come off their respective lists at any time during the preseason.
While players can still be added to the PUP list in the coming days depending on the results of their physical exams, it could be a good sign healthwise for the Saints that neither safety Jairus Byrd nor wide receiver Joseph Morgan were on it Monday. Byrd missed offseason practices and minicamp while recovering from surgery to address a problematic disk in his back, and Morgan did the same because of a knee injury that sidelined him for all of 2013.
On Monday, a league source confirmed to The Advocate that Byrd’s recovery was on track, which had first been reported by ESPN.
Jenkins had a relatively productive regular season as a rookie in 2013, playing in 16 games and starting five while making 18 solo tackles and assisting on eight others. Picked up as a free agent, Ozougwu had four tackles and a forced fumble in nine games with the Chicago Bears during the previous two seasons.
The Saints chose Rooks out of Kansas State, and McCray joined New Orleans after playing his last year in college at Akron.
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