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Marcus Davenport returns to New Orleans Saints practice as he recovers from offseason surgery

Defensive makes his first on-field appearance of Saints training camp

New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport returned to practice in limited fashion Tuesday as he continues to work his way back from injury.

"More feeling blessed," Davenport said when asked how he was feeling. "I want to say this was a good first day. It's just one of those things on the process."

The first-round pick dealt with a myriad of injuries and surgeries this offseason, including shoulder surgery to repair an injury he suffered in 2021. He also had part of his left pinky finger amputated, which required multiple procedures. Davenport originally injured the finger in college, and a plate was put in last year. The plate broke, however, causing an infection that led to amputation.

The former University of Texas San-Antonio Roadrunner said he's not sure if he would be able to play a game right now, but progress is being made.

"I still have more to push through," Davenport said, "At this point, I'm really just in the process of getting back, getting acclimated, seeing whatever comes up from actually playing football."

Davenport participated in walk-throughs, stretching and individual drills at the start of practice, which Coach Dennis Allen said will be the routine for a few days before ramping him up into pass-rush drills and team drills.

"We're certainly not there yet," Allen said.

The edge rusher said the body acclimation into camp has been the hardest part to miss, as he hasn't had the chance to adjust to the heat and get himself into football shape. However, he said the finger hasn't really bothered him while going through practice reps.

"With anything, it's sort of an adjustment, but honestly I don't really think about it," Davenport said. "The main time I think about it is when I'm lifting weights… It doesn't really impact anything, it's just something I notice."

Davenport said his main focus the rest of camp and this season is staying on the field. He has missed at least three games in every season of his career to this point, including playing in just 11 games each of the last two years.

"Focus has been able to kind of slim down because at this point I just want to be healthy," Davenport said. "From there, I can play."

Despite the missed time, Davenport has been able to be a productive piece along a strong defensive line. He had a career year in 2021, compiling nine sacks.

Davenport said he's not playing his best football yet in spite of last year's career numbers. He said he has been able to sharpen his mind over the last few months while he heals. Now, he gets to physically improve, saying the best is yet to come.

"I got a (recovery) plan, and I guess I'm excited," Davenport said. "I think it's all coming together."

Winston watch: Quarterback Jameis Winston left practice Monday with a foot injury, which Allen confirmed Tuesday as a sprained right foot. The head coach said Winston is day-to-day and he likely won't play Saturday in the team's first preseason game against Houston.

"I don't really think it's going to be that big of a challenge, but certainly we're going to make sure that we get him back healthy before we put him back out here," Allen said.

Thompson carted off: Second-year cornerback Bryce Thompson left practice on a cart Tuesday with an apparent lower leg injury.

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