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    — Saints left tackle Terron Armstead rattles off travel destinations that — unfortunately for him — have nothing to do with the kind of jet-setting leisure a big NFL contract affords.

    Rather Reggie White Jersey , New Orleans’ second-highest-paid offensive player has been on a protracted search for answers about how to stay healthy.

    “I’ve done pretty much everything as far as injury prevention. I’ve been a lot of places, you know, out of the country, spent a lot of time with different doctors, just trying to get over that hump,” Armstead said, listing trips to Germany, New York, Minnesota, Texas and Florida, among others. “I’ve been pretty much everywhere.”

    During the early days of training camp, Armstead — one of the players most responsible for protecting quarterback Drew Brees from potentially devastating blind-side hits — has sounded confident that his journey back to optimum health is nearly complete.

    “I was able to start the offseason getting stronger in areas that were injured before,” Armstead said, explaining that in the past, he wasn’t able to train the way he wanted to because previous injuries were still healing. “So being able to start the offseason getting stronger in areas that I haven’t been able to, that was the difference.”

    Armstead has missed 15 regular-season games since the Saints signed him to a five-year extension worth about $65 million in 2016. He sat out six games last season and nine the season before that. And when he has played, he often has fought through pain to do so. Last season, he was bothered by a hip injury after coming back from a shoulder injury.

    Earlier in his career Joe Theismann Jersey , he struggled with knee soreness, which led him to seek out the same type of plasma therapy in Germany sought out by high-profile athletes such as former NBA star Kobe Bryant.

    During the first days of training camp, coaches and teammates have commented on Armstead’s apparent improvements in strength, form and vigor.

    “He’s not rehabbing. He was training,” coach Sean Payton said. “The guys that have been injured have not been really on the ground. You can be on a treadmill or a bike, but it’s different when you’re actually on the ground playing. So it’s good to have him. He’s not only an important player for us, but also an important leader.

    “He’s always been a really good athlete and he’s playing well.”

    The Saints selected Armstead in the third round of the 2013 draft and elevated him to starter at the end of his rookie season. While Armstead spent his college career largely out of the limelight at Arkansas-Pine Bluff, NFL personnel took notice when he ran 40 yards in 4.71 seconds at the NFL scouting combine. In other words, when healthy, he moves well for someone listed at 6-foot-5, 304 pounds.

    Veteran guard Larry Warford, now in his second season in New Orleans, describes Armstead’s recent form as “unbelievable.”

    “Even compared to last year, I think he’s vastly improved — and that’s saying a lot because he was damn good last year,” Warford said. “I’m excited to see him this season because I think he’s going to be a dominant player.

    “It’s hard to appreciate if you’re not an offensive lineman, but just the intent of everything he does is superior. It’s top-notch,” Warford continued. “There’s a lot of natural ability that goes into that as well, but you can see that he’s been working. I know he’s felt bad about missing (games in past seasons) and so he just got his body right and got healthy.”

    Armstead’s athleticism doesn’t merely present challenges for defensive ends trying to pressure Brees. His ability to move fast thwarts linebackers chasing running plays across the field.

    Saints second-year linebacker Alex Anzalone said he’s seen Armstead do plenty of that in practice.

    “For a big guy T.Y. Hilton Jersey , he rolls really well,” Anzalone said.

    Armstead said that earlier in his career, he “never knew why things kept happening” to take him out of action. And while he knows there’s no guaranteeing one’s health in the NFL, he asserts that his grasp of everything from how muscle groups work together to injury prevention is far superior to what it was a few years ago.

    “I mean, it’s football,” Armstead said. “Things happen for sure, but I’m on top of anything I can do to prevent it and be out there for my team.”

    Notes: Saints first-round draft choice, defensive end Marcus Davenport, and veteran tight end Ben Watson both missed their fourth straight practices with undisclosed ailments on Saturday. Also not practicing were OL John Fullington, DB JT Gray, TE Micheal Hoomanawanui, DB Kamrin Moore, C Cameron Tom and RB Shane Vereen.

    The rain was heavy and relentless. As the puddles grew deeper on the tarp at Nationals Park, the Baltimore Orioles were left to wonder if their bid for a rare road victory would be thwarted by, of all things, the weather.

    During a season in which very little has worked in their favor, the Orioles withstood a long rain delay to beat the Washington Nationals 3-0 Wednesday night.

    Baltimore led 2-0 after four innings when play was stopped. After a wait of 2 hours, 43 minutes Anthony Castonzo Jersey , the game resumed with a few hundred fans from the announced crowd of 32,153 sprinkled around the lower seating bowl.

    Mark Trumbo homered for Baltimore, and Andrew Cashner and four relievers combined on a five-hitter in a game that ended long after midnight.

    ”It was nice,” Trumbo said. ”I’m glad that we actually kept the game going. Had we not been able to, it might have been a wash. But it ended up being pretty big for us.”

    Baltimore ended a six-game losing streak to Washington that began last May, won for only the fourth time in 20 games and improved the majors’ worst road record to 10-28.

    This one was worth the wait.

    ”It’s never easy, especially when you get over the hour mark, two-hour mark,” Trumbo said. ”Then you have to restart. It’s almost two games in one, so, great job by our guys tonight.”

    The Nationals managed only two hits following the delay, both in the ninth inning.

    ”It happens. You can’t do anything about the rain,” manager Dave Martinez said. ”You’ve got to come out and get yourself ready to play. I’m not going to make any excuses.”

    The rain delay cut short a solid pitching performance by Cashner, who allowed three hits and no walks over four innings in his return from an 11-day stay on the disabled list with back spasms.

    Miguel Castro (2-2) followed with two hitless innings, Darren O’Day pitched a perfect seventh and Zach Britton got four outs.

    Brad Brach allowed the Nationals to load the bases with two outs in the ninth before striking out Mark Reynolds .

    Trumbo hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Gio Gonzalez (6-4), and for a while it appeared the drive would be washed out by the rain.

    ”One pitch. That was the whole game,” Gonzalez lamented. ”That was it.”

    Indeed, it all ended well for the Orioles Weston Richburg Jersey , who added a run in the sixth when Adam Jones doubled off Shawn Kelley and scored on a sacrifice fly by Danny Valencia .

    BRYCE STRUGGLES

    Nationals OF Bryce Harper went 0 for 4, dropping his batting average to .209.

    Martinez said Harper has been working hard with batting coach Kevin Long, and the manager expects the five-time All-Star to end his prolonged slump with a flourish.

    ”He’s going to hit. I know he’s going to carry us for a month or two or for whatever,” Martinez said.

    WAITING FOR DAVIS

    Now in the third year of a seven-year, $161 million contract, Baltimore’s Chris Davis is batting .150 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 57 games. He last played on June 11, when he went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts against Boston.

    Since then, Davis has been working on his swing and improving his mental outlook. His return appears imminent.

    ”A couple of days,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”We’re pretty close to it.”

    OH, BROTHER

    With Cashner coming off the DL, the Orioles optioned infielder Corban Joseph to Double-A Bowie. That ended the 24-hour, feel-good story of Corban and catcher Caleb Joseph as brothers on the same team.

    TRAINER’S ROOM

    Orioles: 3B Tim Beckham (core surgery) went 1 for 4 with 3 strikeouts in a rehab game with Triple-A Norfolk. … RHP Chris Tillman (back) began his rehab assignment by giving up three runs in two innings for Class A Aberdeen.

    Nationals: Martinez said patience is the key in awaiting the return of RHP Stephen Strasburg (shoulder). ”We’re really going to take our time and make sure he’s 100 percent,” the manager said. … 1B Ryan Zimmerman (oblique) is taking grounders and some swings. … C Matt Wieters (oblique) caught in the bullpen but is not yet running at full speed.

    UP NEXT

    Orioles: Kevin Gausman (3-6, 4.48 ERA) pitches the finale of the three-game series Wednesday night.

    Nationals: Max Scherzer (10-3, 2.06) tries to avoid his first three-game losing streak since August 2015.

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