Right before the New Orleans Saints took on the Carolina Panthers, the team waived James Laurinaitis from injured reserve, making him a free agent. It is not yet clear where the linebacker will end up next but one possible option is Carolina franchise after the injury of Luke Kuechly.
Laurinaitis officially joined the Saints in March of this year. However, earlier this month, he suffered a quad injury which then prompted the team to place him on IR.
"It's definitely frustrating," he said according to CBS Sports. "You want to be out there and contribute with the guys any way possible. But I think my mindset now is just mentally staying engaged in helping in any way, shape or form in the locker room."
Although all teams are allowed to activate one player from the injured reserve each year, the Saints have already used up this option with defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins. Because of this, the New Orleans franchise just decided to waive Laurinaitis, NOLA reported.
Due to his departure from the team, Laurinaitis will surely continue his NFL career by playing for a different franchise. Currently, no teams have expressed their interest in signing the athlete. However, the Panthers, which won the Week 11 game against the Saints, could be a likely landing spot for Laurinaitis.
During the last minutes of Thursday's game, Kuechly, the Panthers' linebacker, was carted off the field after suffering a head injury. He was then taken back to the team's locker room to be evaluated for a concussion, according to another report from CBS Sports.
It is not yet clear when he will be able to return with the rest of the Panthers but his absence could extend to a couple of weeks depending on his condition. Panthers coach Ron Rivera, on the other hand, refused to speculate on Kuechly's condition.
If Kuechly fails to return next week, the Panthers will most likely turn to his backup A.J. Klein for the match against the Oakland Raiders. Or, they could turn to the free agency pool and sign the recently waived Laurinaitis for their roster.