November 7, 2007

Bush Sits Tender knee keeps 24% of offense out of practice

Tender Knee: RB Reggie Bush sat out of practice on Wednesday with a tender knee, something he's referring to unscientifically as a bone bruise. The left knee was wrapped and Bush walked through practice.

Bush has 711 total yards of offense, 24.34% of the Saints' offensive production so far. Over the past four wins, Bush has increased slightly to 26.6% of the total offensive production.

Injury Report: Defensive contributors DT Brian Young (knee), CB Usama Young (hamstring), DE Charles Grant (ankle) and LB Scott Shanle (hamstring) missed practice.

Brian Young sat against Jacksonville after two weeks of nursing a knee that has been drained twice. Shanle was replaced in the starting lineup by Brian Simmons.

Grant played against the Jaguars, but not full time, after an ankle injury in San Francisco. He has played in 88 of 88 possible starts for the Saints since he was their second first round pick of the 2002 draft.

Usama Young, the Saints' second draft pick in April, taken in the third round, has been contributing on special teams and dime packages on defense.

After missing the past two games and most of a third, C Jeff Faine returned to practice and wrested the starting job back from utilityman Jonathan Goodwin. Faine's pectoral injury put Goodwin into the starting lineup, but the veteran journeyman played well and the offense hasn't skipped a beat in its rapid improvement pace.

Meachem Update: In his Wednesday press conference, Sean Payton remarked that top draft pick WR Robert Meachem has been improving physically and mentally and is running with the scout team weekly. The emergence and sustained health of David Patten, even with the disappointment of Devery Henderson, has kept Meachem on the bench. Patton and Colston have accounted for half of Brees' passing yards over the past four games, with Henderson and Moore accounting for about six percent.

Meachem's best chance to crack the lineup is by bumping Henderson, because Moore and Copper are key special teamers. But Henderson is one of the fastest receivers in team history, is familiar enough with the system and while he has been haunted by a flurry of drops and mental mistakes he apparently hasn't done enough yet to merit being replaced by a rookie. Should David Patten succumb to injury, as he has been prone to do in years past, Meachem would be likely to get a gameday jersey.

Meachem and third round pick G Andy Alleman were inactive on Sunday, while third round pick Young, fourth round pick T Jermon Bushrod, seventh round pick Marvin Mitchell and undrafted rookie Pierre Thomas were active. All but Bushrod actually played in the game.

The Saints started Moore and Patten against the Jaguars, albeit in an unconventional alignment, with Stecker, Bush, and Billy Miller on the field as well.

College Replay: The college football season hasn't been kind to former domers Jeff Faine, Renaldo Wynn and John Owens. Notre Dame has lost to the schools of alumni teammates Chris Reis (Georgia Tech), Jonathan Goodwin and Mark Campbell (Michigan), Drew Brees (Purdue), Reggie Bush and Billy Miller (USC). The pain is over though, as the Saints don't have any players currently on the roster from Notre Dame's final three opponents: Air Force, Duke and Stanford.

WR Terrance Copper and WR Devery Henderson have bragging rights on a pair of defensive starters this week, CB Mike McKenzie and S Roman Harper, as East Carolina beat Memphis and LSU defeated Alabama.

This week, starting Scott Shanle and Marc Simoneau are going up against each other as Nebraska faces Kansas State.

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