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Saints Training Camp 2021: Key Takeaways from Tuesday, Aug. 17

Wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith returned to practice on Tuesday

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Welcome back

After a couple weeks on the proverbial shelf, wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith was back at practice Tuesday, Aug. 17 at the indoor facility at the Oschner Sports Performance Center. Smith participated on a limited basis, going through warmups and early QB-to-WR drills, but then was held out the remainder of team drills. He also caught passes on the side from all four QBs while the team worked on punt drills. Regardless of his participation, it was good to see No. 10 out there. Two other veterans who have missed some time the last week were safeties Marcus Williams and P.J. Williams. Both were at practice Tuesday and participated fully in every drill. Still not practicing were rookie defensive end Payton Turner and rookie linebacker Pete Werner.

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Kwon easing into it

We have watched linebacker Kwon Alexander on the practice field for the last 10 days or so for the most part though, he has been in mostly walk-through drills and conditioning. On Tuesday, however, that ramped up a bit. Alexander participated during team, contact drills for the first time during training camp. We've said it before, but the fact that Alexander is even out there seven months after a torn Achilles tendon is nothing short of remarkable. The linebackers prior to camp, which maybe might have been a position in question, now 15 practices and one preseason game in, might be considered a position of strength on this New Orleans Saints team.

The New Orleans Saints take the field on Aug. 17, 2021 for Saints Training Camp presented by SeatGeek at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center.

Revolving door

Even though the roster was cut to the mandatory 85 by Tuesday, and a Covid positive test in cornerback KeiVarae Russell (who doesn't count against the 85), the team continues to bring players in for tryouts, and Tuesday was no exception. The media was moved outside for player media availability so the new arrivals (who went straight into the testing trailer upon arrival), could get inside immediately after practice and show what they could do. The takeaway is this, with the final cutdown date still a couple weeks away, the Saints are still looking to improve the roster each and every day, as they see fit. FYI, the next cutdown date will be Aug. 24, when the roster must be trimmed to 80.

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