Saints star Davenport recovering from pinky amputation

Published 4:19 pm Friday, June 17, 2022

METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport enters his fifth NFL season with just four fingers on his left hand.

He appears to have accepted the partial loss of his pinky finger and is ready to proceed with a career as a pass rusher that has shown considerable potential.

Indeed, the 2018 first-round draft pick looked more amused than bothered when asked why he appeared to be missing much of his pinky.

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He has had trouble with his left pinky since tearing ligaments in a bowl game in college at UTSA. His latest procedures on the finger this year came after he broke a plate inserted during a previous repair. That led to an infection which ultimately resulted in the amputation, he said.

Recurring injuries and surgeries left him with little and sometimes no mobility in the finger in recent years.
He also had surgery on his right shoulder this offseason and did not practice during last week’s minicamp.

“You’re looking at a nub,” Davenport said as he held his bandaged hand in front of him, allowing for closer examination.

Davenport said he does not expect the amputation to adversely affect his pass rush ability.

There is precedent for someone playing in a similar situation. Jason Pierre-Paul, currently a free agent, has played six NFL seasons since losing all or part of three fingers on his right hand in a fireworks accident in 2015.
Last season, the 6-foot-6, 265-pound Davenport had a career-high nine sacks, along with three forced fumbles, despite injuries that limited him to 11 games.

Davenport said his repaired shoulder felt “strong.” In fact, he had a loaded backpack slung over his right shoulder as he spoke. And he’s not feeling sorry for himself.

Routinely being in medical facilities and seeing others who also need care gives him perspective on his relative robust condition and good fortune. Davenport has earned nearly $14 million in pro football and is scheduled to be paid about $9.5 million this season, when he’ll turn 26 years old. He’ll become a free agent in 2023 unless he and the Saints agree to an extension.

Davenport is also expecting his third child — his first daughter — in July. He said that if one day he wants his children to appreciate some of the sacrifices he’s made to provide for them, he might hold out his four-fingered left hand and say: “If y’all ever want anything, this was for y’all.”