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Saints’ Trey Hendrickson has a chance to see his role expand following Marcus Davenport injury

Once upon a time, injuries to key players would derail the Saints. However, recent draft hits like Trey Hendrickson have made this team much deeper than it’s ever been.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals at New Orleans Saints Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

It’s just business.

To this point, Saints 2nd year defensive end Trey Hendrickson has had to observe all but one game from the sidelines because he’s been unable to crack the active game day roster.

It’s odd because you’d think a guy who had 2 sacks as a rookie and continued to flash during the preseason would have at least a niche role in the defense as a designated or sub-package pass rusher.

Naturally, his absence has resulted in questions atypical for these situations.

Has he regressed? Is he in the dog house? Is it another draft miss? Probably not...

The Saints simply have more invested in Marcus Davenport (Two 1st round picks in case you forgot) AND the rookie has done nothing to dispel the notion that he deserves the developmental snaps. One can only imagine this is a conversation coach has with the player, let’s him know what his role will be and why, and hopes the player is mature enough to stay motivated and ready.

Fact is, Hendrickson does not deserve snaps over Davenport in any capacity. The rookie phenom is just a more complete package, especially in run defense than Hendrickson ever has a chance to be, but that says nothing about the former 3rd round picks game.

He can rush the passer!

“You feel him,” Saints coach Sean Payton said. “There is a physical presence to him. It is not necessarily the feistiness, it is how a player plays between the whistles.”

Those comments were just made in August, albeit during preseason (the biggest mirage in sports entertainment since Kayfabe) but nonetheless a pretty raw take from Sean Payton about his skill set to go along with his demonstrated ability.

In conclusion, the most obvious reason for the lack of utilization that doesn’t run the risk of being a rumor is a simple lack of opportunity, and that just changed today’.

Now, when you look at the model the Eagles presented the league last year it was all about depth on the offensive and defensive lines. The Saints O-line was tested early with Andrus Peat missing a handful of games followed by his backup Josh LeRibeus going down resulting in 3rd stringer Cameron Tom taking meaningful snaps against Baltimore and playing well.

The defensive line on the other hand hadn’t faced adversity...until now.

With Sean Payton admitting to Chris Collinsworth that part of the reason Davenport’s snaps hadn’t increased was because of how assignment sound Alex Okafor is, his presence along with Hendrickson acting as a complimentary piece should be enough for the next month.

If the injury to Marcus Davenport could be considered a blowout, then Trey Hendrickson should be looked at as a spare tire. Not a perfect fit but it’ll hold them until they get to their destination.