Saints starting MLB Anzalone placed on IR

METAIRIE, La. -- The hits just keep on coming for the New Orleans Saints.

They placed starting middle linebacker Alex Anzalone on injured reserve Monday with an unspecified injury. It's unclear if there is a chance he could return to the lineup this year, but he will have to miss a minimum of eight weeks.

The good news for the Saints is that they just traded for an experienced veteran inside linebacker in Kiko Alonso earlier this month. Veteran backup Craig Robertson also has starting experience as a middle linebacker -- as do starting weakside linebacker Demario Davis and starting strongside linebacker A.J. Klein.

But the news is still very disappointing for Anzalone, who was limited to four games as a rookie in 2017 because of a shoulder injury after being plagued by shoulder injuries in college.

The 6-foot-3, 241-pounder from Florida finally played a full 16-game season last year, recording 59 tackles, two sacks, an interception and three forced fumbles while helping the Saints finish with the NFL's No. 2-ranked run defense.

To fill Anzalone's roster spot, the Saints added undrafted rookie defensive end Carl Granderson to their active roster -- less than a month after he spent more than 40 days in jail because of a sexual battery case.

The Saints were granted a roster exemption with Granderson over the past two weeks since he missed all of training camp.

Granderson, who was accused of inappropriately touching two women while they slept at his apartment during his final year at Wyoming in 2018, was not expecting to face any jail time when he reached a plea agreement and pleaded no contest to lesser charges of sexual battery and unlawful contact in July. But a district judge rejected his plea agreement and sentenced him to jail before another district judge later suspended the sentence and placed him on supervised probation instead.