Offseason surgeries are common for NFL players. Amputations, on the other hand, are not.
New Orleans Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport, after dealing with chronic injuries to his left pinky, revealed Wednesday he had the top section of finger amputated early this offseason.
The 25-year-old originally tore ligaments in the digit in 2016 while playing at the University of Texas-San Antonio and underwent multiple surgeries in 2021 in an attempt to finally mend the issue before making the decision to shorten the finger.
“From there, it kind of progressed down,” he told reporters, declining to show them the “nub” under his bandaged hand.
Davenport, who also underwent shoulder surgery this offseason, doesn’t believe the procedure will hurt his playing ability. He hopes to be healthy by training camp, though he’s taking it all it comes.
“After all this, I’m just happy to be alive,” he said.
Similarly in 2015, former New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul lost two fingers in a fireworks accident. Pierre-Paul has played six more seasons with the Bucs and Giants since the injury, winning the Super Bowl and being selected to the Pro Bowl in 2020 in the process.
Davenport, a 2018 first-round pick, recorded a career high nine sacks and forced three fumbles in just 11 games for New Orleans in 2021. He now has 21 sacks and seven forced fumbles in his four year career.
The Saints picked up his fifth-year option last year. The now 9 1/2 fingered defender will be an unrestricted free agent in 2023. If Davenport can emulate Pierre-Paul’s digitally altered success, he could be set for a big payday after the 2022 season.