Following the Saints heartbreaking loss to the 49ers on Sunday, New Orleans lost their grasp of the #1 seed in the NFC for the time being.

It appears more bad news is coming for the NFC South Champs, as multiple reports suggest defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins could miss the rest of the season as well due to an ankle injury.

Rankins suffered the injury late in the 2nd quarter of last Sunday's game and never returned.

John Hendrix of was the first to report last night of Rankins possible absence moving forward.

Luke Johnson of The Advocate/Times Picayune, citing a league source, writes Rankins is weighing all his medical options, and a decision has yet to be made.

It's a crushing blow for Rankins, who suffered a torn Achilles last January in the NFC Divisional Playoff game versus the Eagles. He did not return to game action until week 4 of this season.

In addition to starters Davenport and Rankins, New Orleans defense has been without starting linebacker Alex Anzalone (went on IR in September) for the majority of the season, while starting linebackers A.J. Klein and Kiko Alonso both missed the game against San Francisco due to injury.

New Orleans hopes to get back Klein and Alonso soon, as they hope for a strong finish to the regular season.

With 3 games left in the regular season, the Saints can finish anywhere from the 1, 2 or 3 seed.

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