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Will Smith injures knee, will miss Saints' season

Injuries continue to rock the New Orleans Saints' front seven this summer.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Monday that outside linebacker Will Smith is expected to miss the 2013 season with a knee injury, according to a source who spoke with Smith. The injury happened Sunday against the Houston Texans.

ProFootballTalk first reported the news. Smith told ESPN's Ed Werder on Monday that the injury is a torn ACL and that Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery.

It's another punishing blow to a Rob Ryan defense that already has lost outside linebacker Victor Butler and defensive end Kenyon Coleman to likely season-ending injuries. Inside linebacker Jonathan Vilma is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Smith was attempting to make the transition from 4-3 defensive end to 3-4 outside linebacker in Ryan's new scheme. He led the team with six sacks last season. At 32, it's possible he's played his final down.

Ryan, meanwhile, must figure out a way to put pressure on the opposing quarterback without his top two pass rushers. Outside linebacker was a position of concern before the injuries. Now it looks like an outright liability.

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