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Sean Kelley's Saints training camp observations for Wednesday, Aug. 15

The New Orleans Saints practiced Wednesday on the indoor field at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center. It was the final full practice before Friday night’s preseason game with the Arizona Cardinals. Here are some observations:

Defensive end Alex Okafor suffered a lower body injury and had to leave practice Wednesday. The specifics of the injury are unknown. It does add to the intrigue and competition surrounding the job of starting opposite Cam Jordan on the defensive line. Trey Hendrickson is squarely in the mix. Hendrickson looks faster and stronger than he did a year ago. He changed his body by dropping 10 to 15 pounds and he improved his mind with a better grasp of the playbook. Other players who will be worth watching in the coming days are Hau’oli Kikaha, Al-Quadin Muhammad and Jayrone Elliott. First-round pick Marcus Davenport is soon to follow. Davenport was seen at practice Wednesday. Coach Sean Payton said Davenport’s return to full participation should ramp up quickly.

Wide receiver Cameron Meredith was back at practice Wednesday. Meredith, who was acquired as a free agent, has been in and out of practice as he continues to recover from knee surgery. Wednesday also saw a return to the practice field for defensive tackle/end Mitchell Loewen. Loewen was injured in the Jacksonville game. Also worth noting, left guard Andrus Peat continues his progression. He practiced alongside Terron Armstead with the Saints' first team offensive line.

It was a good day for cornerback Marshon Lattimore as we continue to enjoy watching the on-going competition between he and Michael Thomas. Lattimore scored several nice pass breakups while covering the Saints' top receiver. They continue to “sharpen” each other while providing great entertainment during the grind of a long stretch at training camp.

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