Despite the fact that the Saints have two of three straight Thursday games to go, the team is settling into their "normal regular season" routine.
The Saints won't have back-to-back Sunday kickoffs until October. They won't have back-to-back Sunday noon kickoffs until November, when they host Jacksonville and St. Louis in their first back-to-back home games.
"We are taking a little bit of an emphasis in regard to some of the things we’ll see from Indianapolis and still preparing to play Thursday night against Miami," Payton said on Sunday. It's not sure what kind of preparation the Saints are actually doing for the preseason finale, when starters are expected to play little, if at all.
Payton announced four cuts, but there are more to come. "There are still obviously some tough decisions to make," Payton said Sunday. "Really beginning the last two-and-a-half weeks, you work off of a list and go through it in your mind how you see the roster shaping up. Right now we have three cuts to make before Tuesday and then the final cuts after the Miami game.”
An injury run down was of considerable length at four exhibition games.
TE Mark Campbell missed practice with a back injury, and is day to day. Same for QB Jamie Martin who had some back spasms, and S Curry Burns, who has a knee contusion. Both Martin and Burns should play in Miami, and Burns is competing for a roster spot.
WR Jamal Jones has been nursing a knee injury since the start of training camp, and he's not expected back this week. It's hard to imagine Jones making the team with so little time spent, and with the emergence of Lance Moore as a sure-thing member of the final 53.
DT Brian Young isn't fully practicing yet after his offseason foot fracture but is working with the team. Payton said he is coming back "pretty well." Young probably won't play this Thursday but should be ready to play, if not start, the season opener. DE Rob Ninkovich, who has also missed considerable almost all of camp time with a knee injury early on, is also working limitedly on the field.
CB Jason David has a sore quad and hamstring , but Payton said he will be fine.
LT Jammal Brown went "most of practice" and Payton was encouraged that he took all reps with the starters today. "There's a good chance" he'll at least start against Miami.
Receivers Marques Colston (knee) and Devery Henderson (hamstring) practiced today and "could easily play," Payton said. But they also certainly won't against Miami, to get an extra week of rest.