Tyrann Mathieu won’t be participating in the start of New Orleans Saints training camp, the team announced Tuesday, having excused him while he attends to a personal family matter. The New Orleans native should return to work soon once this is handled, whatever it is — we aren’t going to speculate.
Mathieu’s absence isn’t that big of a deal. He was full-go throughout the summer and immediately asserted himself as a team leader in the secondary. Sure, more time spent with his new coaches and teammates would be nice, but missing a few days of classroom work and conditioning drills isn’t the end of the world. He’s experienced plenty of that through his first nine years in the NFL.
So fans have nothing to worry with as long as Mathieu is back in the saddle once the team dials up the intensity later in training camp. Players often miss a day or two here and there to tend to their families, and we’ll be looking for Mathieu to return to the practice field soon enough. In the meantime, this is an opportunity for backups like Bryce Thompson, Justin Evans, and Smoke Monday to get more work in his place.