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Saints DL Sheldon Rankins carted off field vs. Eagles after leg injury

Sheldon Rankins, Saints

The New Orleans Saints did not exactly get off to a good start in their Divisional Round playoff matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday afternoon, falling behind early and seeing defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins get carted off of the field due to a leg injury:

Rankins is one of the most important players on the Saints’ defense, so this is a huge loss.

On the year, Rankins racked up 40 tackles, eight sacks, and a forced fumble.

The 24-year-old, who played his collegiate football at the University of Louisville, was originally selected by New Orleans in the first round (12th pick overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft.

He played in just nine games during his rookie campaign as a result of a broken fibula he suffered in August, but he still managed to finish with 20 tackles, four sacks, and a forced fumble.

Then, in 2017, Rankins started all 16 games and totaled 26 stops, two sacks, an interception, and a forced fumble.

While New Orleans is not a bad defensive team, it is not exactly a great one, as it ranked 14th in the league in total defense this season and also ranked 14th in points allowed, giving up 22.1 points per game.

The Saints won 13 games and captured the NFC South division crown this season, finishing with the best record in the NFL to boot.

New Orleans and Philadelphia met at the Superdome earlier in the year, which ended in a 48-7 win for the Saints.

The winner of this game will move on to battle the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship Game next weekend.