NFL

Tyrann Mathieu reports for Saints training camp after extended absence for personal reasons

Tyrann Mathieu has arrived at New Orleans Saints training camp following an extended absence, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday

Mathieu was allowed to miss the start of camp by the Saints for an undisclosed “personal family matter.” He sat out the team’s first six practice sessions.

The Honey Badger has returned. The #Saints were patient and understanding, using the time to develop depth in the secondary and making sure he had all the time he needed. Now, he’s back. https://t.co/N6q4Pb5RRz

The return of Mathieu, 29, to Louisiana was celebrated this offseason after the veteran safety signed with the Saints. After playing football at St. Augustine High School in New Orleans and at LSU, Mathieu was dismissed from the school and spent his first nine years in the NFL with the Cardinals, Texans and Chiefs. He signed a three-year, $28.3 million deal with the Saints in May, which was heralded as a major homecoming, and Mathieu is expected to start at safety and play a big role on defense.

Saints head coach Dennis Allen hasn’t yet said when Mathieu is expected to return to the field, however. The Saints’ preseason opener is against the Texans in Houston on Aug. 13.

The Saints are expected to have a strong defense this season, and Mathieu could be a big part of it. He had 76 tackles, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries for the Chiefs last year and earned Pro Bowl nods the previous two seasons in Kansas City, including for the Super Bowl champs in 2019.

New Orleans’ Wednesday training camp practice is closed to the public.

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