September 23, 2009

Midweek Notes: Brees the early MVP candidate, Hamilton to enter the forefront, injury report

  • Saints QB Drew Brees is the early leader in the NFL MVP race, according to here, here, and here though Mike Bell is the MVP according to this guy.

  • According to the National Football Post, Brees agreed to restructure his contract to provide the Saints immediate cap relief. He cleared up $3.4 million in cap space for the current season by converting salary into guaranteed money.

  • With both Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas iffy, but not ruled out, of the second half of the Saints back-to-back East Coast trip, fourth stringer Lynell Hamilton is taking snaps with the first string. He is nearly complete with his remarkable return from freshman All-American at San Diego State, to an injury-riddled college career including a fracture leg, to undrafted rookie signee, to cut at the end training camp, to NFL practice squad, to 53-man roster, to NFL contributor.

    His story is, thanks to that brutal string of college injuries, even more remarkable than Pierre Thomas' improbable undrafted rise to starter-dom. This Sunday could be the next chapter in Hamilton courageous story.

    Bell and Thomas have MCL knee sprains and with Reggie Bush's apparent status as a multipurpose weapon - not a straight-up runningback -Hamilton could start in Buffalo.

  • Mike Bell did not practice on Wednesday. For the second week in a row, Pierre Thomas did practice albeit with a knee brace.

  • DT Kendrick Clancy (knee) also did not practice. Remi Ayodele made his first NFL start in Clancy's place in Philadelphia, and benefited from a blow-out game. He was not tested all game long by a pounding run attack, though he will be in Buffalo.

  • DE Bobby McCray is a new name to the injury list, suffering from a hamstring injury. McCray has been the best pass rusher for the Saints so far. Speaking of McCray, he had a sack stat robbed from the Eagles game, as the NFL has taken away a fourth quarter sack and ruled it a rush by Eagles QB Kevin Kolb.

  • WR Lance Moore (hamstring) also did not practice. He suffered the injury in Philadelphia and his absence limited the Saints' offensive personnel packages; Payton could not go to four-receiver sets.

  • The Saints are six point favorites heading into Buffalo, sporting a whopping 52 point spread, higher even than the Saints' opener against Detroit.

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