It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the New Orleans Saints.

Starting left tackle Terron Armstead will be out four-to-six months after he tore his labrum in minicamp and starting defensive tackle Nick Fairley was shut down for the season Monday due to a heart condition. Both developments will greatly impact the Saints’ 2017 season, as Drew Brees acknowledges.

“We’ve got some tough circumstances we’re dealing with right now,” the quarterback told the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Larry Holder on Tuesday.

He noted the significance of losing his blind-side protector in Armstead.

“Listen, that’s a big blow. I’m not going to lie. … To have something like that with a freaky injury, I’m really saddened for him and for our team. He plays a huge role. We always find ways and we have to have these young guys step up. We don’t know exactly how that shakes things up.”

The injury thrusts first-round draft pick Ryan Ramczyk into the limelight. Now, Ramczyk will likely challenge for the starting job at some point in the season.

“Everybody gets thrown into the fire at some point. I don’t know if that’s going to be Week 1 with him, but he has to be ready to play. No question,” Brees said.

Fairley’s situation is more serious – his playing future is in jeopardy to due to a heart ailment. One doctor advised Fairley not to play football again, but he received slightly more positive news from a second opinion. The Saints opted to shut him down for the year after seeking out a third opinion.

“To lose a guy like that on something that’s kind of just a freak thing, I know he’s heartbroken. We are as well to not have him,” Brees said.

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