Saints' Juwan Johnson to undergo foot surgery, source says

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints tight end Juwan Johnson is scheduled to undergo foot surgery next week and will be sidelined "a while," a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

The source told Schefter that the hope is Johnson will be back for the start of the regular season. The Saints will open the season at home against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 8.

"It's really hard to say because it wasn't any sort of event," Saints coach Dennis Allen said of Johnson's injury. "It's his foot. His foot was bothering him. And he's unable to practice right now. But it really wasn't an event, so I'm not really sure exactly how it happened. So we'll just see what his availability is and when he becomes available."

Johnson was present during OTAs but was not on the field for Tuesday's first practice of the Saints' three-day minicamp. He is one of a handful of Saints dealing with injuries, with pass-rusher Chase Young on the mend from offseason neck surgery and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk dealing with a serious knee issue.

Young received a positive report during a checkup this week. He is set to undergo more testing in about six weeks to ensure he is still trending in the right direction ahead of training camp.

Johnson was an undrafted free agent in 2020 who was originally signed as a wide receiver before converting to tight end. He started 11 games for the Saints in 2023, catching 37 passes and four touchdowns.

Veteran tight end Foster Moreau is the only remaining full-time tight end on the roster with significant game experience now that Johnson is sidelined. Tommy Hudson and Michael Jacobson are returning practice squad tight ends, and rookie Dallin Holker was guaranteed $235,000 to sign with the Saints after the 2024 draft.

Jimmy Graham, who returned to the Saints last year after a year out of football, is a free agent but said he has not closed the door on retirement and will leave that decision up to the Saints.

Information from ESPN's Jeremy Fowler was used in this report.