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Saints rookie OT Trevor Penning could return by early November following foot surgery

In a surprise twist, Trevor Penning's rookie season might not be finished after all.

The Saints received good news following Penning's foot surgery: The rookie tackle has a chance to be ready to return by early November, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday. At the least, Penning should be able to practice by that point. At the most, he could end up being able to contribute in game action in a potentially valuable role.

Penning's injury has already caused a roller coaster ride of emotions for Saints fans. What was initially deemed as turf toe ended up being more severe than initially anticipated, requiring a surgery that carried the potential to wipe out Penning's entire rookie season. New Orleans' hand-picked replacement for Terron Armstead was suddenly looking at missing a full campaign all because of an injury suffered in a 10-snap outing in the final game of the preseason.

Monday's news brightens the outlook for New Orleans, which will still be forced to spend the first couple of months of the 2022 season (if not longer) without Penning, but can look forward to the possibility the rookie returns before Christmas.

In the meantime, the Saints will rely on veteran James Hurst, who appeared to have a slight edge over Penning in the battle for the left tackle job before Penning's injury.

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