The Coming Out Party Is Postponed, As Marcus Davenport Has Reportedly Been Sidelined For The Next Month By A Toe Injury
I don't know that a Saints' team, that is currently on a 6-game winning streak, needed a reminder that a football season is just as long as its schedule is short. Judging from the sights and sounds of the locker room following their vindictively decisive victory in Minnesota, they are a group that's riding high on confidence ahead of this Sunday's clash with a fellow NFC titan in the Rams...
Cocky isn't a word I would use to describe a locker room that's been increasingly playing up to both it's personality and potential as a Super Bowl contender, but if their heads were somehow at risk of overinflation with an undefeated team coming to town and a thankless slate of games to follow, this news should serve as the pin in un-pumping their tires.
There's just no way around it, Marcus Davenport's injury coming on the heels of the whole damn pass-rush's coming out party, albeit one that was basically thrown by the Vikings doing more to protect the Saints' secondary than their own overpaid quarterback, makes it even more disappointing.
A kid who has flashed freakish athleticism with more and more frequency (as highlighted both here and below) as his rookie season has wore on can use all the reps he can get in trying to develop consistency in a technique that's still understandably one long stride behind his genetics. Unfortunately, he damn sure ain't going to get them while hobbling around the sidelines during a month that could very well help to define the Saints' season.
Of course, injuries are par for the unforgiving course of an NFL schedule, and one that keeps a part-time player off the field for four or five games isn't the type that should have you in need of a room that's as dark as the warm bottle of liquor in your hand. Still, if emasculating Minnesota happened to have them feeling a bit full of hot air, the temporary absence of a first round pick who - at 6'6, 270 - has literally played a large part in helping the defensive line exceed expectations in a way that's helped cover for a secondary that's done the exact opposite should strap the Saints down to Earth.
Having presumably not yet put together a peak performance as of yet, this news makes it unlikely that they'll do so until at least December. That's how impactful Marcus Davenport, at his absolute best, can be. Hopefully, it's also how impactful he will be in returning to a lineup that could very well be on the verge of big things if they stay on the track they've looked to have taken to playing their best, most complete football when it matters most.