A wave of panic flashed through Saints Twitter and the greater ecosystem of New Orleans Saints fans Monday morning as reports from the Advocate’s Nick Underhill and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport broke some bad news: Marcus Davenport, New Orleans’ 2017 first round draft pick, is scheduled for surgery later this week after injuring his thumb.
I’ll keep it real with you: this news stinks, it’s not good, and I shouldn’t try to spin it otherwise. But we don’t always get to pick the parts we play.
Broken fingers are common in football. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Sammie Coates made a gruesome show of his broken fingers at last summer’s OTA’s, and Detroit Lions cornerback Darius Slay spoke just last week on how an errant Matthew Stafford pass broke one of his fingers. Defensive linemen and linebackers like Davenport play every week with clubbed-up fists and taped-up fingers. It’s easy to call an injury minor when it’s not your fingers breaking, but this is hardly a world-ender.
So while I understand some caution with the “minor” tag, it’s got some validity here. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that the Saints view this development as “no big deal”, and that Davenport is expected to practice at this week’s sessions open to fans. He’ll go under the knife after the three days of practices and enter a rehab schedule aimed at sending him into training camp back at full strength.
That’s stellar news, because Davenport needs every practice rep he can get. The Saints are teaching him new techniques from the ground up, basics as fundamental as playing out of a three-point stance. Every chance he gets to refine that in June is another bit of experience he can carry over into September’s season-opener and beyond.
The Saints have been tight-lipped on details concerning how Davenport was injured, but Rapoport later reported it to be a “minor ligament injury that’ll put him in a cast for 3 weeks.” That lines up with a claim from ESPN New Orleans contributor Bryan Bienemy, alleging that Davenport’s hand caught awkwardly on a helmet in practice, causing the injury. So not exactly a big deal.
In other words, keep the faith and don’t overreact to this news. It’s about as minor a setback as we’ll get this time of the year.