2010-01-13 / Front Page

Saints’ Grant placed on injured reserve

Charles Grant Charles Grant The New Orleans Saints placed starting DE Charles Grant (triceps) on injured reserve, the team announced Tuesday. To replace his spot on the 53-man roster, the team re-signed veteran DE Paul Spicer.

Grant was the Saints’ firstround draft selection in 2002 and is signed through 2013. He has anchored the left side of the defensive line since taking over as the starting left defensive end in 2003. In 118 career regular season games, the 6-3, 285-pound lineman has started 106 contests and recorded 47 sacks, 505 tackles (339 solo), 14 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and an interception.

His base salary moves from $1.85 million this season to $4 million in 2010. If there’s no salary cap next season because of the uncertain status of the labor deal, the Saints might decide to replace Grant with a younger and more affordable player, avoiding any bonus acceleration that could make a move more difficult in a capped environment.

The 31-year-old defender started all 16 games for the Saints in the regular season after coming back from a similar injury that ended his 2008 season after eight games. Grant tallied 53 tackles in 2009 with 5½ sacks, two passes defensed and a forced fumble. He ranks eighth in club history in sacks.

Spicer is a 10-year NFL veteran who first joined the Saints as a free agent last spring and played in all four preseason games with the team before being released in the final preseason cutdown. The 6-4, 295-pound lineman has played in 117 career games and tallied 349 tackles (241 solo), 28½ sacks, an interception, 19 pass defenses, seven forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

With Grant out for the rest of the playoffs, the team will return to backup DE Bobby McCray, who is nursing a back injury. It’s possible that starting DT Anthony Hargrove also will see some snaps at defensive end.

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