November 9, 2010

Saints on bye after brutalizing Panthers

The 6-3 Saints put a starting quarterback and linebacker on injured reserve in their last game, sending the 1-7 Panther starters Matt Moore (shoulder) and Dan Connor (hip) to the season-ending injured reserve list. 

It was DT Sedrick Ellis who knocked Moore out of the game, his fourth sack of the season.  FS Darren Sharper also knocked RB Jonathan Stewart out of the game temporarily, with a devastating hit that forced a fumble and may draw punishment from the league.  Sharper has played in two games this season, and has created two turnovers.

The Saints announced that they will not practice this week before their rest weekend.  When they return to action, it'll be a tough road - they will play two games in five days with the Seahawks at home on November 21 and then a trip to Dallas for a Thanksgiving Thursday matchup.

On their own injury front, the Saints hope to welcome back both starting runningbacks, Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, for the matchup against Seattle.  Both runningbacks have overstayed their welcome on the inactive list.  Bush's original prognosis was 4-6 weeks, and returning in time for Seattle will have been nine weeks. 

They already enjoyed the healthy return of both starting cornerbacks, Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter, who helped limit the Panthers' three quarterbacks to 68 net yards passing.  Greer nailed their coffin shut in the third quarter with a pick six off rookie Jimmy Clausen in the late third quarter.

Reserve safety Pierson Prioleau, who missed the Carolina game with an ankle injury, also should return after the bye. 

RB Chris Ivory (shoulder), FS Malcolm Jenkins (stinger), FS Darren Sharper (hamstring) and TE Jeremy Shockey (ribs) were injured in Carolina, their status for Seattle won't be known until next week. 

Shockey had to be taken to the hospital via ambulance during the game, though he was able to walk there on his own power, because of damage to his lower ribs suffered when he caught Brees' first touchdown pass on Sunday.  Tests showed that no ribs were broken but that they were bruised.

Sean Payton downplayed the Saints' two game winning streak by pointing at the Hornets.  "The Hornets are on a roll with momentum," he said of the 6-0 Hornets who pushed their franchise-best season opening win streak to seven on Tuesday night.

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