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Saints place DE Marcus Davenport (shoulder), LB Kwon Alexander (elbow) on injured reserve

The Saints' defense, a stifling unit in Week 1, lost a pair of key players Friday.

New Orleans placed defensive end Marcus Davenport (shoulder) and linebacker Kwon Alexander (elbow) on injured reserve, the team announced. Each can return after three weeks spent on IR, per the league's updated COVID-19-related roster rules.

Davenport's departure forces New Orleans to adjust on the fly at defensive end, likely elevating Carl Granderson to the starting lineup to replace the young edge rusher. Davenport had gotten off to a strong start, recording three tackles and a sack in the Saints' dominant Week 1 win over the Packers.

He'll head to the sideline until mid-October, as will Alexander, who recorded two tackles while playing 60 percent of New Orleans' defensive snaps in Week 1.

The Saints' season-opening victory was a statement triumph, with New Orleans suffocating Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the Packers offense, forcing three turnovers while running out to a massive lead. They'll have to weather the roster losses in Week 2 against Carolina and into the next month of the season.

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