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Saints DT David Onyemata finishes 6-game suspension, eligible to play Week 7

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Good news: the New Orleans Saints welcomed back defensive tackle David Onyemata on Tuesday, having served his six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s banned substances policy. Onyemata was granted a one-week roster exemption that will allow him to practice with the team and play in Sunday’s pivotal matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without counting against the 53-man roster limit.

Onyemata was arguably the team’s best defender in 2020. He’s been one of the team’s strongest draft-and-develop stories in recent years, having picked up football in his spare time in college at Manitoba before turning pro. He’s since averaged 4.6 sacks and 26 defensive stops per year the last three seasons. Getting him back into the lineup with Marcus Davenport and Cameron Jordan will be crucial, to say nothing of the pressure it takes on the other interior linemen available.

Right now, the Saints have Shy Tuttle, Montravius Adams, Christian Ringo, and Malcolm Roach on the 53-man roster with Josiah Bronson on the practice squad. Albert Huggins was released before Week 7’s kickoff with the Seattle Seahawks and is eligible to re-sign with the active roster or the practice squad. Expect Onyemata to have a big role on Sunday against Tom Brady, who he pressured often (and intercepted, off a Davenport deflection) in three games last year.

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