September 1, 2010

Saints, Titans to wrap up 2010 preseason Thursday night

The Saints and Titans will finish their exhibition seasons on Thursday night.  A week later, the Saints will open the NFL's 2010 Regular Season with a nationally televised event, parade, concert and a football game.

The Saints plan to rest QB Drew Brees, DE Will Smith and many other starters for the game.

Backup Patrick Ramsey is expected to start the game for Brees, and Chase Daniel is expected to play in the second half. 

Brees, Ramsey and Daniel are the only quarterbacks left on the roster after the release of seventh round pick Sean Canfield on Tuesday.  Only Ramsey may remain by the end of the weekend; all teams must cut 22 players to get down to 53 players by Saturday, September 4.

Backups like Ramsey and Daniel will get a lot of playing time on Thursday night, typically the game where teams give reserves their final shots at an NFL job.  Both have played well this preseason, Ramsey against the Chargers and Daniel against the Texans.

CB Tracy Porter, S Pierson Prioleau, T Zach Strief, and MLB Jonathan Vilma are among those players who will not travel to Tennessee. 

LB Clint Ingram and S Darren Sharper remain on the PUP list, and may remain there for the first six weeks of the regular season.  In their absences, second year youngsters Jonathan Casillas and Malcolm Jenkins have ascending to starting jobs where the veterans were expected to compete.

Vilma reports he is healthy despite a scary groin injury that was reminiscent of the Saints' recent struggles with sports hernia injuries requiring surgeries.  Vilma, who has had sports hernia surgery, injured a different part of the groin, the lower abductor, and will not require surgery on the new injury. 

Vilma was injured when he was clotheslined on the pass rush in the third quarter against the Chargers last Friday night.  He says he will be able to play against the Vikings, though LB Marvin Mitchell will start for him in Tennessee.

Mitchell is a former seventh round pick, a teammate of WR Robert Meachem at Tennessee, where the two were roommates.  He has been Vilma's primary backup for the past two seasons.

First round pick CB Patrick Robinson, who has struggled this preseason at cornerback and on his few chances at kick returner, has been given starting snaps in place of Porter this week during practice.

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