New Orleans Saints defensive end Alex Okafor was diagnosed with a sprained ankle and a knee bone bruise after undergoing an MRI on Wednesday, sources informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Okafor is considered week to week and it's unclear when he'll return to practice, Rapoport reported.
Members of the Saints' training staff quickly tended to Okafor after he went down at practice Wednesday. He managed to limp off the field under his own power, according to multiple reports.
Okafor is attempting to come back from a torn Achilles tendon suffered in Week 11 of the 2017 regular season. Before the season-ending injury, the 6-foot-4, 261-pound Okafor was enjoying a strong campaign, totaling 43 tackles (27 solo), 4 1/2 sacks and two forced fumbles as the much-needed complementary pass rusher to Cameron Jordan.
Okafor, who originally signed with the Saints in 2017 on a one-year contract, re-signed during the offseason. With Okafor on the mend during the offseason, the Saints added more firepower to the pass rush through the 2018 NFL Draft by trading up to select defensive end Marcus Davenport in the first round.
Davenport, who has missed recent practices with an undisclosed injury, returned Wednesday, but didn't participate in team drills, according to ESPN's Mike Triplett.
After practice, coach Sean Payton told reporters it was good to have Davenport back on the field and the team is "encouraged" by the rookie's recovery progress.
Here are other injuries around the league we are keeping an on:
- No damage was discovered in Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick's shoulder and neck after he underwent an examination in Los Angeles on Wednesday, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Frederick has dealt with stingers throughout training camp. The Cowboys believe he will be fine, according to Rapoport. Frederick said he won't practice Thursday.
In addition, wide receiverTavon Austin (hamstring) and first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch (groin) made early exits from practice, but owner Jerry Jones told reporters the injuries "didn't seem serious."
- The New York Jets are taking it slowly with guard Brian Winters, who is recovering from an injury, and he is not expected to play in Thursday's preseason game against the Washington Redskins, Rapoport reported. Winters, who dealt with an abdomen injury last season, should be ready for the regular-season opener, Rapoport added.
- Seahawks rookie running back Rashaad Penny underwent surgery Wednesday morning to repair a broken bone in his finger, per Rapoport. The surgery is expected to sideline the rookie running back three to four weeks, Rapoport reported. There's a chance Penny won't return before Week 1 of the regular season.