In practice on Wednesday, New Orleans Saints defensive end Alex Okafor went down with what looked to be a significant injury. Reporting was all over the place until an MRI was done late last night. but is dealing with only a minor ankle sprain and bone bruise after having an MRI, according to a report from Football Media’s Ian Rapoport.
Okafor went down on the field during a rep and was attended to by several of the team’s trainers, during which time his teammates surrounded him in silence, with many taking a knee, before he left under his own power for further medical evaluation, but with a noticeable limp.
It's unclear how long Okafor will be sidelined. But the prognosis -- which was first reported by the Football Network -- is relatively good news for the sixth-year veteran, who is coming back from a torn Achilles.
Okafor's health is key for the Saints after he played such a big role in their defense's resurgence last year. The 27-year-old, who spent his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, was having a career season in 2017 after signing with New Orleans in free agency. He had 4.5 sacks in 10 games as the starter opposite All-Pro end Cameron Jordan.
If Okafor’s injury is more significant, it will definitely be a setback for the Saints defense. But, between Johnson, Hendrickson and Davenport, someone will step up or at least there’s a solid rotation ready to go. They may not have the chops Okafor does against the run, but they may actually be better in pass pressure. It’s nice to have the Saints be at a place with depth where a possibly major injury can turn out to not completely derail the team.