Marcus Davenport returns to practice at Saints training camp

·2 min read

Good news: the New Orleans Saints activated Marcus Davenport from their physically unable to perform (PUP) list on Tuesday, clearing the way for the big defensive end to participate in training camp practices. And it comes at a great time with their preseason exhibition series about to kick off on Saturday with the Houston Texans.

That’s not to say Davenport will get on the field in Houston. He’s got more hurdles to overcome as his conditioning improves, and it’s unclear if the team will give him the greenlight so soon. They’ve been cautious with other injuries and may choose to do the same here, instead giving Davenport another week of practice before putting him up against live opponents. Next week’s join practice sessions with the Green Bay Packers should be a great opportunity to gauge his progress.

Davenport has struggled with injuries throughout his pro career, totaling appearances of 13, 13, 11, and 11 games in each of his first four seasons. He suffered a season-ending foot injury in his rookie year and missed time with elbow and shoulder issues. It’s been a frustrating summer for him, too. Davenport underwent a couple of shoulder surgeries and had to amputate most of his left pinky finger during the offseason, stemming from an old college injury, and learned to live without it. That’s changed his workout routine and how he uses his hand in day-to-day life.

But those challenges are behind him now, and he’s focusing on catching up to his teammates on the practice field. A lot’s on the line for him. Davenport is playing out the final year of his rookie contract. If he meets expectations and reaches the heights we’ve seen before, he’ll be positioned well to cash in with a big contract next March. The question is whether the Saints will pay it or someone else. But that doesn’t happen if Davenport continues to miss time with injuries. We know how productive he can be when he’s on the field. It’s up to him to stay out there.

Story originally appeared on Saints Wire