METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon tore his Achilles tendon and is expected to miss at least the early part of the upcoming season, coach Dennis Allen said Tuesday.

Allen was explaining why Kpassagnon had been absent for voluntary offseason practices when he mentioned the injury, which he said occurred while the seven-year NFL veteran was sprinting during a drill in the indoor facility earlier in the offseason.

“He won’t be ready for training camp and then we’ll see how long it takes him to recover,” Allen said. “There’s a chance he could be back at some point.”

The 6 foot-7, 289-pound Kpassagnon, who spent his first four NFL seasons with Kansas City, has been with New Orleans for three seasons. He played in all 17 regular-season games in 2023, when he had 3 1/2 sacks. He had 10 spot starts in his first two seasons with the Saints before rotating in regularly as a reserve throughout last season.

“He’s been a valuable part of what we do defensively. There’s some versatility in terms of the things that he can do playing on the edge or even moving into the interior,” Allen said.

“You look at a guy that’s worked extremely hard like he has, it’s unfortunate that that happens,” Allen continued. “But he’s on the road to recovery, he’s going through the rehab process. He’s going to work as hard as he possibly can to get himself back out there as soon as he can. When that is, I don’t know.”

Both starters at defensive end from last season — Cameron Jordan and Carl Granderson — remain with the Saints.

Meanwhile, New Orleans acquired free agent Chase Young and also is hoping Payton Turner, a 2021 first-round draft choice out of Houston, can become more of a contributor after three injury-filled seasons.

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