“I’ve done every practice, every rep,” Armstead said Tuesday. “That’s the first time in a long time. Excited about that. Really excited about the training camp.”
The prospect of completing the offseason program without setback has Armstead, who turns 27 in July, primed to begin training camp in late July feeling better than he has in years.
“Training camp is such a grind, such a long process,” he said. “You got to have your body conditioned in a way to embrace that, to deal with that. Over these next five, six weeks, you got to be busting your butt. Everybody across the league is. You don’t want to come in behind at all.”
Armstead, who is in the second year of a five-year contract extension worth up to $65 million that runs through 2021, has missed parts of the last three seasons due to injury.
The five-year NFL veteran missed three games in 2015 with a knee injury and nine games in 2016 with left knee and quadriceps injuries that caused him to be put on injured reserve. A shoulder injury at minicamp last year caused him to miss the first four games.
After his return in the first game after a bye against the Detroit Lions, Armstead missed two other games to injury, including the Week 17 loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But he returned for two playoff games, never missing an offensive snap in either contest.
This offseason he was a full participant in nine organized team activity workouts over the span of three weeks and through the first minicamp session Tuesday.
“It’s been great to be at every practice, to be out there with the guys, not be in the training room,” Armstead said. “It’s great. I’m feeling a lot fresher. I’m feeling younger now.”
The Saints had one of the better offensive line units in the NFL last season with rookie right tackle Ryan Ramczyk replacing the injured Zach Strief — he has since retired — and Andrus Peat settled in at left guard next to Armstead.
Peat has not participated in on-field workouts as he recovers from a broken fibula suffered in the home playoff win against the Carolina Panthers. Peat said Tuesday he expected to be ready to practice without limitations at training camp.
“He’s busting his butt,” Armstead said about Peat. “He’s working his tail off trying to get back. He’s a huge part of what we do up front. We definitely need him. I’d love to have him back next to me.”
With Peat, the Saints would have their full starting offensive line on the field for the start of training camp with center Max Unger and right guard Larry Warford also working as full offseason participants.
“I love our group,” Armstead said. “The starting guys and the guys behind us got a chance to be quite a force. A dominant force.”
Gallery: Day 1 at Saints Minicamp 2018
Read the NOLA.COM article: www.nola.com/saints/index.ssf/2018/06/terron_armstead_saints_1.html
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