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Saints kicker Wil Lutz out for season after 'setback' in recovery

"Congrats to Brian on his first game-winner," Wil Lutz added. "New Orleans, you're in good hands!"
Credit: AP
The words It Takes All of Us and a logo for Inspire Change are shown on the helmet of New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz (3) as he watches play during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans Saints kicker Wil Lutz said Tuesday that he will miss the remainder of the NFL season after a "setback" while he recovers from surgery to repair a core muscle injury.

Lutz began training camp on the team's non-football injury list due to the injury. The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate reported that Lutz practiced for some days before his injury worsened and the team decided that he needed to undergo surgery.

“He started with a core muscle strain and then last week it progressed some, so rather than wait, we’re going to go ahead and have that done right away,” Payton told the media in preseason.

Lutz did not specifically say what caused the setback in his recovery.

"Unfortunately I had a setback during the rehabilitation process that has forced me to shift my focus to being 100% healthy for the long term and shut it down for the season," Lutz wrote on social media. "I want nothing more then [sic] to be out there with my teammates helping us win games, and I look forward to doing that when healthy!"

The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate reports that without Lutz at the helm, the position has become a "revolving door of specialists this season." Four kickers have played for the team in his absence - Brett Maher, Aldrick Rosas, Cody Parkey and now undrafted rookie Brian Johnson. Maher and Parkey both were injured in their single games they played. Rosas was cut after he missed three straight field goals.

Johnson made two field goals in his NFL debut, including the game-winner against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday Night Football.

"Congrats to Brian on his first game-winner," Lutz added. "New Orleans, you're in good hands!"

Lutz has made 77 of 81 career field goals inside 40 yards. He has hit 65 of 83 kicks from beyond that range. His arrival ended an era of instability at the position for the Saints under Payton, who went through 10 different kickers during the 10 seasons before Lutz arrived. 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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