METAIRIE, La. (AP) — New Orleans Saints defensive end Payton Turner, who left Sunday's season-opening victory over Tennessee with a foot injury, “probably” needs surgery that could sideline him for an extended period, coach Dennis Allen said Monday.
Turner, a 2021 first-round draft choice out of Houston, struggled with injuries during his first two seasons, when he appeared in a total of 13 games combined.
Last season, he exhibited potential in the eight games he played, getting two sacks and five tackles for loss to go with a blocked potential game-winning field goal.
“It's unfortunate for Payton because I thought he was doing some good things early on in the game and he had a nice training camp,” Allen said, noting that the turf toe-type injury happened on what looked like an innocuous play on video.
“The interesting thing, when you watch the play, there wasn't anything significant where you say, 'I see where that occurred,” Allen lamented.
Allen compared Turner's injury to one left tackle Trevor Penning had in a preseason game last year. Penning wound up being sidelined almost three months.
Turner did not start the opener, but was a prominent reserve behind ends Cameron Jordan and Carl Granderson. He assisted on one tackle in the game.
Saints rookie defensive end Isaiah Foskey, a second-round draft choice out of Notre Dame, was inactive for the season opener, but now could be thrust into a more regular role if he responds well to an opportunity to play more, Allen said.
“I definitely think an opportunity's opened up for him,” Allen said. “We'll see what we feel like is the best move for our team.
“He's still a guy that needs some development and yet I saw a lot of improvement from early in training camp all the way through the last preseason game,” Allen added. “It probably just accelerated the curve a little bit.”
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