Hoomanawanui (ankle) expects to be ready in time for offseason activities, NOLA.com reports. Hoomanawanui missed the entire 2016 season due to a high-ankle sprain that included damage to surrounding ligaments. However, he's been running and jogging for about a month now and -- most importantly -- is setback-free in his recovery. Considering offseason workouts don't start until April, Hoomanawanui's prediction for his return certainly appears plausible.
The Saints placed Hoomanawanui (leg) on injured reserve Saturday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Hoomanawanui injured his lower left leg in the Saints' third preseason game. With his season finished, his presence as a blocker will be sorely missed by Drew Brees.
Hoomanawanui was forced out of Friday's matchup with the Steelers due to a left leg injury, Josh Katzenstein of The Times-Picayune reports. It is unclear how the injury was sustained, but the 28-year-old was unable to put any weight on his left leg as trainers helped him off the field. Hoomanawanui currently projects as the third tight end on the Saints' depth chart. Expect an update on his status when the team releases more information.
The Saints and Hoomanawanui agreed to a three-year contract Tuesday, Alex Marvez of FOX Sports reports. Hoomanawanui landed in New Orleans via a trade with the Patriots in late September, but the box score was barely impacted, aside from the occasional touchdown, over the Saints' final 12 games. In the end, he notched 11 receptions (on 16 targets) for 76 yards and three TDs, a stat line that could be elevated next season depending on the respective free agencies of tight ends Ben Watson and Josh Hill.
Hoomanawanui was not targeted in Sunday's win against the Giants. A week after catching five passes and scoring a touchdown against the Colts, Hoomanawanui was silent in a home shootout against the Giants. Instead, it was tight end Ben Watson who once again carried the receiving load, snagging nine passes for a career-high 147 yards. Hoomanawanui still played 27 of the Saints' 78 offensive snaps (35 percent), according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, but the renown blocker is simply not much of a receiving threat.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3 Year Avg||14||9||85||1||4||9.44||14|