Saints’ Payton: new long-snapper needs heart surgery

FILE - In this Sept. 11, 2016, file photo, Philadelphia Eagles' Jon Dorenbos greets fans before the team's NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns in Philadelphia. A day after long snapper and celebrity magician Dorenbos was traded to the New Orleans Saints, players were still reeling from losing their popular teammate. "His positive attitude is something that's hard to find in a football locker room all year round," safety Malcolm Jenkins said Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. "Jon's the guy who is constantly in a good mood, constantly joking around. He's just a good friend and obviously a guy who is going to be missed." (AP Photo/Michael Perez, File)

METAIRIE, La. (AP) Saints recently acquired long snapper Jon Dorenbos has a ”serious” heart condition that will require surgery.

Team physician John Amoss discovered Dorenbos’ aortic aneurysm during a physical examination and ”basically saved his life,” coach Sean Payton said on Friday.

Entering his 15th NFL season, Dorenbos was acquired in a trade with Philadelphia before the New Orleans’ final preseason game last week.

New Orleans is now placing Dorenbos on its non-football injury list and looking to bring in another long snapper before Monday night’s regular season opener at Minnesota.

”I kind of have a couple different emotions about it,” punter Thomas Morstead said. ”It’s obviously tough for him, scary. Probably fortunate that he was traded, because then they found it and they saved his life. So it’s a lot of different emotions.

”I’m just praying Jon will do whatever has to be done,” Morstead added, ”and be happy and healthy after that.”

Payton mentioned that because Dorenbos’ condition was ”pre-existing,” the trade could potentially be rescinded, meaning New Orleans would get back its 2019 seventh-round draft pick from the Eagles.

Dorenbos is the second Saints player this year to be placed on the non-football injury list for a heart condition. The first was veteran defensive tackle Nick Fairley his summer.

The next New Orleans long snapper will be the sixth since the offseason began.

”It’s been a little bit of a circus with snappers this year,” Morstead said. ”It’s all about being ready Monday.”

Added kicker Wil Lutz, ”This is when you’re tested most.”

”Once we figure out, whoever it is, we’ll get it going. We’ll have a couple days to kind of start jelling and go from there,” Lutz continued. ”It’s really more on me just trusting my mechanics and getting the job done.”

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