The New Orleans Saints announced Thursday that tight end Juwan Johnson needs foot surgery and will undergo the procedure next week.  There is no timetable for his return, though the team hopes that he will be available for the start of the regular season.

“It’s really hard to say because it wasn’t any sort of event,” Saints coach Dennis Allen said of Johnson’s condition. “It’s his foot. His foot was bothering him. And he’s unable to practice right now. But it really wasn’t an event, so I’m not really sure exactly how it happened. So we’ll just see what his availability is and when he becomes available.”

Johnson, entering his fifth year in the league, is coming off two successful seasons in New Orleans, in which he has carved out a significant role in the Saints’ passing game. Despite inconsistent quarterback play, he has made 79 catches for 876 yards and 11 touchdowns since 2022. He signed a two-year, $12-million extension with the team in 2023, and coaches have reportedly been satisfied with his progress early in his career.

With Michael Thomas entering free agency, Johnson is in line to get more targets in 2024 if he can recover in time for the start of the season. If he has to miss a few weeks, star wide receiver Chris Olave, deep-ball specialist Rashid Shaheed and the versatile Taysom Hill will likely pick up the slack.

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Tight end Foster Moreau is technically next up on the depth chart, which could lead to a slight uptick in his usage. Quarterback Derek Carr will likely find Alvin Kamara out of the backfield as well.

Last season, Johnson suffered a calf strain during warmups in Week 4 and had to miss four games. According to Allen, there is no specific reason for Johnson’s foot injury, but it is yet another setback for the 27-year-old.

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