METAIRIE, La. -- The New Orleans Saints have fired team orthopedists Deryk Jones and Misty Suri, a source told ESPN, after it was discovered that cornerback Delvin Breaux had a fracture in his fibula that was originally diagnosed as a bruise.
Breaux will require surgery and is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks. And although it was accurately reported by the New Orleans Advocate earlier this week that the Saints were frustrated with Breaux's history of nagging injuries that they felt he could have played through, they no longer appear as eager to trade or part ways with him.
So instead of this incident becoming a last straw for Breaux, it became a last straw for the team orthopedists. According to a source, there had been other incidents of frustration with the medical staff in the past, and coach Sean Payton was livid over the latest issue.
Breaux emerged as the Saints' No. 1 cornerback during a breakout 2015 campaign after migrating from the Canadian Football League. But his season was derailed by a broken fibula in Week 1 last season, and he wound up playing just six games because of the leg injury and a shoulder injury later in the year.
Breaux's current injury is believed to be in the same leg, though it is not a recurrence of the same issue.
One thing that has not changed with the updated diagnosis is that the Saints won't be counting on Breaux to start this season. So they will have to rely on a young group of cornerbacks who have impressed them so far this summer -- including first-round draft pick Marshon Lattimore, second-year pros Ken Crawley and De'Vante Harris, third-year pro P.J. Williams and veteran Sterling Moore.
Lattimore has also missed the past two weeks with a minor knee injury, but he is expected to be healthy in time to play in either the second or third preseason game. His development will be key to the success for a Saints defense that ranked last in the NFL against the pass last year.
It's too early to gauge whether Lattimore will earn a starting job by Week 1 because he not practiced much in training camp and showed the expected highs and lows of a rookie cornerback who turned 21 this summer.