There remains some speculation whether the Saints will sit their starters today against Tampa Bay in the Superdome.
Unless the Carolina Panthers and their lame duck coach and rookie quarterback can defeat the stung Falcons in the Georgia Dome, the Saints have nothing to play for in this game as far as playoff seeding. The Falcons win and clinch the #1 seed in the playoffs, if they lose the Saints or Bears could steal the #1 seed.
The Panthers, meanwhile, might have visions of Stanford QB Andrew Luck and the top overall draft pick in their eyes. The Bucs are trying to get back to a double-digit win season for the first time since 2005, with remote chances of their own playoff birth alive.
What do the Saints have to play for? Look for Chase Daniel, newly-signed Adrian Arrington and Julius Jones today in the Superdome.
The Saints have deactivated WR Marques Colston because of a minor knee scope earlier this week, RB Pierre Thomas because of a new minor ankle injury he picked up in Atlanta, TE Jeremy Shockey because of an ongoing groin injury, TE David Thomas as he continues to recover from minor knee surgery, and DT Anthony Hargrove with a knee injury that held him out of practice. Healthy sits are S Usama Young, LB Kawika Mitchell, and LB Anthony Waters.
RB Chris Ivory is active and is expected to return to the starting lineup, though third string RB Julius Jones could get the majority of the reps as the Saints rest Ivory and Reggie Bush.