Payton Turner says he's medically cleared for Saints training camp

John Sigler
Saints Wire

Payton Turner announced Wednesday that he’s been medically cleared to participate in New Orleans Saints training camp, formally adding the team’s 2021 first round pick to the mix of players we’ll be rooting for later this summer.

Saints rookies will report for work on July 19, with veteran players following them on July 26. Turner was one of several players recovering from surgery and receiving treatment at the team facility during minicamp practices in June.

Turner, 24, dealt with a lot of frustration as a rookie with a training camp elbow injury sidelining him to start the season and an unrelated shoulder issue ending his year in November. That required surgery and seven months of rehab, but now he’s back.

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Look for Turner to get a lot of snaps rushing off the right side behind Marcus Davenport in the rotation, but the Saints showed us they’re open to moving him around — 30% of his pass rush snaps came off the left side, where Cameron Jordan and Tanoh Kpassagnon typically line up.

With those four players and fourth-year pro Carl Granderson in the mix (plus former first round pick Taco Charlton signed for training camp), it’s looking like the Saints again run deep at defensive end. They just need enough players to stay healthy, and that’s what they hired Alabama sports science director Matt Rhea to accomplish.

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And we’ve seen before that Turner is worth waiting on. He was a big bright spot in his rookie debut, making multiple big tackles for loss and bagging a sack right out of the gate. He struggled to keep up that momentum as time wore on and experienced NFL left tackles began to get the better of him, but he’s had plenty of time to heal up and study the tape.

Let’s see if he can level up when the team regroups in just a few weeks.