As the flurry of reports circulates, the clarity around Marcus Davenport’s injury was finally brought to light by Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.
#Saints DE Marcus Davenport suffered a significant foot injury in Sunday’s loss to the #49ers, sources tell me and @RapSheet. He’s expected to undergo season-ending surgery. A big loss for that defense.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 10, 2019
As reported earlier by the Athletic’s Nick Underhill, the injury was not an Achilles tear but still an injury that brings the young Davenport’s promising season to an early conclusion. Davenport finishes the year with 31 combines tackles, 5 for a loss, 6 sacks, and 16 hits on the Quarterback. He also forced 3 fumbles. Through his 13 games this season he has improved on his numbers from the 13 he played last year. The only outlier being tackles for a loss where he accounted for 6 in 2018.
Fortunately for New Orleans, being that this is not an achilles injury, the recovery from Davenport’s surgery may be a “shorter” timetable. We watched Sheldon Rankins bounce back from his achilles injury, returning to regular season action after just over eight months since his injury. If Davenport were to have a mid-foot injury like a severe break or Lisfranc injury, recovery could be about five or six months. That would put his expected return in time for camp and preseason assuming all goes well. Only time will tell once the surgery is complete and more information becomes available.
This could end up being a compounding issue as the Saints also watched Sheldon Rankins leave the field early in Sunday’s game with ankle injury. No word yet on his status but there is a heavy pressure resting on his potential designation considering the amount of loss this Saints defense has already faced this season.
Alex Anzalone saw his season end early, A.J. Klein and Kiko Alonso are dealing with injuries, Sheldon Rankins left Sunday’s matchup early, Trey Hendrickson left for a brief time, returned, but has also dealt with injury this season, and now Davenport is out for the rest of the season.
New Orleans will now look to the depth on their defensive line that has been a bright spot on the defense all season. But this is a different challenge as Trey Hendrickson, Mario Edwards, Jr., and Carl Granderson will have to do more than just spell teammates and help keep legs fresh – they instead will have to contribute early and often in games and challenge themselves to remain healthy as well.
The Saints also spent time working out defenders Noah Spence, Chris Smith, and Shane Ray on Tuesday. Perhaps they could look at add another player into their rotation. However, bringing Carl Granderson, who is often a healthy scratch, on to the active gameday roster serves the same as a signing a new name.
Otherwise, New Orleans will seek production and pressure from their remaining leaders, Cam Jordan, David Onyemata, and Sheldon Rankins (if healthy). Look for Mario Edwards, Jr. and Shy Tuttle to continue to contribute along the line as well.
A devastating blow for a team that has battled some significant injuries already this year, with more questions awaiting answers that can hopefully lighten the impact.
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