The Saints will need a backup plan at safety for the remainder of the year. Rookie Kenny Vaccaro has a broken ankle that will require surgery, according to Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com. The first-year player had been one of the most productive players on the Saints defense this season and likely will get consideration for Defensive Rookie of the Year.
Vaccaro suffered the season-ending injury against the Panthers on Sunday. The rookie had a terrific season and started all 14 games that he appeared in. Vaccaro collected 79 tackles, a sack, an interception and a force fumble this season. New Orleans will likely have to start Roman Harper moving forward. The veteran has been in-and-out of the lineup all season and has appeared in just eight games. He has 31 tackles and interception on the season.
The Saints are 2-3 in their last five games but still have a shot at winning the division. New Orleans needs a win against the Buccaneers to have a shot at winning the NFC South title.