METAIRIE, La. -- Coach Sean Payton confirmed that New Orleans Saints defensive end Hau'oli Kikaha will likely be lost for the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. But Payton said the second-year pro is seeking multiple opinions on exactly what type of procedure will be required.
Kikaha tore his ACL in that same left knee twice during college.
"To his credit, man, he's been unbelievable in regards to his mindset," Payton said. "You think you might get someone who was extremely disappointed. And I'm sure that was the case. And yet the night he got his first diagnosis he sent me a three-page-long text just about how this has just motivated him more. He's a pretty tough cookie.
"I think obviously you're the exception if you can come back after the third ACL and play, but I wouldn't bet against Hau. I think he's got that mindset, and that's encouraging."
Kikaha declined comment in the locker room after practice.
Payton said he doesn't think Kikaha's latest injury is career-threatening because "everything else is healthy with the knee" besides the ACL.
"We're looking at a clean picture that I think would be repaired as if it was his first ACL, so that's the good news," Payton said.
But he said Kikaha's history is part of the reason he is being so diligent with seeking multiple opinions on which type of repair would be best. Payton said the first two doctors have agreed so far on the type of procedure, though he didn't specify which.
As for the Saints' plans at the Jack defensive end position, Payton said they didn't want to make any "knee-jerk" reactions by bringing in a veteran. But he did say that remains a possibility.
One option is 10-year NFL veteran Darryl Tapp, who is in for a tryout during this week's minicamp.
The Saints also have third-year pro Kasim Edebali and second-year pros Obum Gwacham and Davis Tull in the mix. Edebali has been working with trainers because of an unspecified injury this month, but Payton said he will be healthy for the start of training camp.
"We feel like we've got some good young developmental players at that position," Payton said. "Obviously Hau was one of them, Boom's one of them, Edebali, Tull. So we've got a handful of options.
"I think there's that initial knee-jerk, 'Well you've got to go sign ...' Well, you've got to be careful that the vision's clear. And so right now we're gonna work on the guys that are here and obviously pay attention to any type player that might be able to help us that's not signed."