Saints re-sign former special-teams captain Michael Mauti

Michael Mauti spent the last two seasons with the Saints before taking time away last fall to deal with his longtime battle with ulcerative colitis. Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

METAIRIE, La. -- Losing Nathan Stupar hurts. But the New Orleans Saints had a pretty perfect alternative available in their own hometown.

The Saints re-signed veteran linebacker and former special teams captain Michael Mauti on Tuesday, according to agent Mike McCartney on Twitter.

Mauti, 27, spent the past two seasons with the Saints after spending his first two years with the Minnesota Vikings. He took time away last fall to deal with his longtime battle with ulcerative colitis, a debilitating inflammatory bowel disease. He returned to the Saints in training camp but missed the cut when the Saints trimmed their roster to 53 players.

Saints coach Sean Payton suggested the door would be held ajar, though, when he said, “Listen, he's one of those guys that we think a lot of. He's got a tremendous amount of courage and heart.”

Like Stupar (who tore his ACL on Sunday, per source), Mauti is a special teams standout with the ability to start at linebacker in a pinch. The 6-foot-2, 243-pounder started two games for the Saints in 2015. His highlight that year came when he blocked a punt for a touchdown in a victory over the rival Atlanta Falcons.

Mauti is the son of another former Saints special teams standout, Rich Mauti, and he grew up just outside of New Orleans in Mandeville, Louisiana.

In other moves Tuesday, the Saints promoted running back Daniel Lasco from their practice squad to their active roster and re-signed veteran DT John Hughes. They released OT Bryce Harris and LB Adam Bighill.