Saints fullback Erik Lorig may not be recovered from an undisclosed injury before the start of the regular season, coach Sean Payton said Tuesday.
That would leave the job to 2013 practice squad player Austin Johnson or veteran Greg Jones, who signed on Aug. 6, shortly after Lorig’s injury during the first phase of training camp in West Virginia.
“Our preparation’s got to be with the idea that, as Erik’s rehabbing, we’ve got to be ready to have a fullback Week 1, with the chance it’s not going to be Erik,” Payton said.
The Saints’ pass-first offense does not heavily rely on fullbacks. Still, it’s an important job, with the offense aiming to start fast with the rushing attack, led by Mark Ingram.
Jones, an 11-year pro, has opened running lanes for Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor in Jacksonville.
Johnson, meanwhile, played his first two seasons at Tennessee as a fullback before switching to linebacker.