Sean Payton on David Onyemata after return from 6-game suspension

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The New Orleans Saints received a big boost this week with the return of defensive tackle David Onyemata, who completed his six-game NFL suspension for violating the league’s banned substances policy. A top-five player at his position last season, Onyemata ranked third in the team in total pressures (49) and fifth in defensive stops (31). He’s now by far their best presence along the interior.

And Saints coach Sean Payton quickly quieted any speculation that Onyemata might start off slowly in his first game back from suspension. He praised Onyemata’s conditioning after the team’s first practice session since returning home from Seattle.

“He’s in great shape,” Payton said Thursday. “He’s been training. I’m excited for him.”

Others have taken notice, too — defensive end Cameron Jordan said earlier in the week that he “feels sorry” for whoever has to line up across from Onyemata on Sunday. That likely means Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen, one of the dirtier players you’ll find around the NFL. Jensen has cultivated a reputation for playing through the whistle, throwing punches, and hustling to call for the officials when opponents retaliate. He and Onyemata have had some great battles over the years and we’re in for another chapter of that underrated rivalry.

List

Saints trade candidates ahead of NFL trade deadline