New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton pointed to rookie Sedrick Ellis, veteran Brian Young and Kendrick Clancy as the players expected to step and fill the gap left by DT Hollis Thomas, who will miss the next two months with a triceps injury.
"They tell me the surgery went well, but that's all I know right now," Payton said of Thomas' torn right triceps.
Thomas injured it during a one-on-one pass rush drill on Wednesday. Thomas was seen as valuable depth on the defensive line, specifically at nose tackle.
Thomas' injury now makes Ellis' selection in the first round of the April draft a bit more fortuitous for a team trying to improve its play on the defensive line.
Ellis, who missed the first several days of camp due to a holdout, is making progress, according to Payton. But he won't be the only one expected to help.
"Kendrick Clancy and Sedrick Ellis, Brian Young — those guys are all playing the nose," Payton said. "That will be the initial rotation. Sedrick and Kendrick had been going with the ones and Hollis with the twos or the threes, so we'll have some flexibility."
Thomas had 50 tackles last season for the Saints. They also did without Young for several games last season due to injury.
Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of saintsinsider.com.