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Saints DE Alex Okafor Injured at Practice — Extent Unknown

The New Orleans Saints up to this point of their 2018 Training Camp and Pre-Season have managed to avoid any major injury issues, but today at practice that may have all changed.

According to NOLA.com / Times-Picayune writers Josh Katzenstein and Larry Holder, Saints 6th year defensive end Alex Okafor who's just recovered from off-season surgery to repair a torn Achilles tendon that he suffered last year against the Washington Redskins — suffered an undetermined leg injury during team drills.

Katzenstein and Holder both reported that the entire team was silent and no words were spoken as trainers tended to him on the field before he limped off under his own power. The extent of the injury remains unknown for now.

The team did at least some good news today: ESPN beat writer Mike Triplett reports that rookie Marcus Davenport returned to practice earlier, although he still did not participate in any of the drills.

However, Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters that the team has received encouraging reports about Davenport's recovery from a severe groin injury that he suffered at the beginning of Camp.

As for Okafor, prior to the injury last season he was well on the way to becoming a sound Free Agent investment for the Saints; with his 43 tackles and 4.5 sacks before the injury.

Photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

But team brass made it a point that despite the unfortunate circumstances that led to the injury, the 27-year old Dallas, Texas native still remained a key piece of the Saints' plans on the defensive line this coming season, even with the addition of the highly-regarded rookie and top draft pick Marcus Davenport.

Okafor signed a two-year, $10 million deal back in late March to remain in New Orleans, and it's fairly obvious that the club had high hopes that a healthy and fully-recovered Okafor will give their improved pass rush an even bigger boost, than the one that's expected to come from players such as Cam Jordan, Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata, and the afore-mentioned Davenport.

UPDATE (August 15th, 11:30 p.m.) As reported first by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport: Okafor suffered a bone bruise and a sprained ankle, but should otherwise be fine for the start of the 2018 Regular Season....

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Saints News Network Editor / Featured Columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and columnist previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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