Lutz, who had been designated to return from injured reserve last week, announced on social media that he had a setback during his recovery from core muscle surgery and has to “shut it down” for the rest of the season.
The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it! Congrats to Brian on his first game winner. New Orleans, you’re in good hands! pic.twitter.com/i68oqfVrRj
— Wil Lutz (@wil_lutz5) October 26, 2021
The news is disappointing for a Saints team that was finally starting to get healthy after missing eight starters for most of the first five games this season.
The Saints will now stick with undrafted rookie kicker Brian Johnson, whom they just signed off the Chicago Bears‘ practice squad two weeks ago. Johnson made both of his field goal attempts in wet and windy conditions Monday night at Seattle — including the go-ahead 33-yarder in the final two minutes of New Orleans’ 13-10 victory over the Seahawks.
Johnson is the fourth kicker the Saints have used since Lutz had surgery in the preseason. The Saints made just 1 of 4 field goal attempts in the first five weeks (all by Aldrick Rosas), and Cody Parkey also missed two extra points.
When Johnson was asked after Monday’s game what his thought process was in a clutch situation in nasty weather in front of a hostile crowd, he said, “Not to think about any of those things. Not to overthink things, just to go out there and do what I’ve done plenty of times before.”
Lutz has made 86.6% of his field goal attempts in his five-year career, making the Pro Bowl in 2019.