Saints OLB Butler officials done for season

Saints coach Sean Payton says outside linebacker Victor Butler

won’t be returning for the Saints’ playoff push.

The chances of Butler returning appeared remote since he tore

the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and had surgery in

June. Yet New Orleans kept the possibility of Butler’s return alive

by placing him on the club’s physically-unable-to-perform list

rather than on injured reserve. The window for Butler’s return to

the active roster closed this week.

”His rehab has gone extremely well. To his credit, he has

worked very hard at it,” Saints Coach Sean Payton said.

”Obviously with an ACL injury there’s a lot that goes into that.

We had that window where he could come out. You try to pay

attention to that and overall, we just felt like it was best right

now if we went that direction. Part of that is just having that

confidence in making sure it’s not too soon.”

Butler was acquired by the Saints as a free agent after starting

his career in Dallas, where he played the past two seasons under

current Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.

Before his injury, Butler was working as a first-team outside

linebacker.

”I worked my tail off in rehab but if you look at it, six

months – that’s a quick recovery time for an injury like this and

I’m just glad that you have an organization that’s smart and cares

about the player and not just productivity and trying to push a guy

out there whether he’s out or not,” Butler said.