Noah Spence's winding, tumultuous football journey has hit another sharp turn.
The New Orleans Saints placed Spence on the reserve/non-football injury list Tuesday due to a torn ACL suffered while training on his own, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported.
New Orleans filled the vacant roster spot by signing linebacker Anthony Chickillo, Rapoport added.
Spence suffered the injury while preparing for training camp within his own physical arrangement, as teams have been unable to meet for on-field or in-person work due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Spence's football career has included a stop at Ohio State as a five-star recruit, a transfer to Eastern Kentucky to resume his athletic pursuits after multiple failed drug tests saw him permanently banned from Big Ten play, a foray into the NFL via a second-round selection spent on him by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and one season in Washington in 2019. Over the course of that time, Spence has enjoyed on-field success and about as many struggles with injuries and off-field problems.
He's steered clear of such off-field issues since reaching the NFL, but his play hasn't been consistent, going from Defensive Rookie of the Month in November, 2016 to a Tampa Bay cutdown day casualty in 2019. He signed with Washington, where he lasted for two months, appearing in seven games and recording one sack before the Redskins released him in November. Due to injuries along the defensive line, New Orleans signed Spence late in 2019 before re-signing him in March.
His 2020 season is over before it began because of the ACL injury. At 26, Spence should have more football ahead of him, if a team will have him following the significant knee injury.