Fresh off their worst defensive outing of the season, the Saints received unfortunate news.
Defensive end Marcus Davenport suffered a significant foot injury in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers and is expected to undergo season-ending surgery, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday, per sources informed of the situation.
Davenport was steadily improving in his second professional season, building on a 4.5-sack rookie campaign by recording six quarterback takedowns in 13 games in 2019. His three forced fumbles led the team, and his 31 tackles tied him for ninth among Saints before his untimely departure.
Among all edge defenders in the NFL, Davenport ranked 15th in overall defensive grade, per Pro Football Focus, landing among difference-makers such as Justin Houston, Demarcus Lawrence, Danielle Hunter and Myles Garrett. His grade was a full five points higher than where he finished as a rookie, illustrating how the once-raw defender is blossoming into an impact player rather quickly.
New Orleans will have to forge onward without him, though, instead turning to rotational edge defender Trey Hendrickson. The third-year player has appeared in 10 games and recorded four sacks and one forced fumble. For comparison’s sake, Hendrickson is ranked 85th among edge defenders in overall defensive grade, landing among players such as Derek Barnett, Jabaal Sheard and Clelin Ferrell.
The Saints will have to hope an increased amount of snaps produces better play from Davenport’s replacement.