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Fujita, Faine eager to play

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; They missed the past two preseason games because of injuries Wednesday, August 22, 2007 By Mike Triplett Linebacker Scott Fujita and center Jeff Faine are both hoping to play Thursday night at Kansas City after missing preseason games the past ...

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Old 08-22-2007, 06:07 PM   #1
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Cool Fujita, Faine eager to play

They missed the past two preseason games because of injuries

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
By Mike Triplett


Linebacker Scott Fujita and center Jeff Faine are both hoping to play Thursday night at Kansas City after missing preseason games the past two weeks with injuries.

Both practiced with the first string Tuesday, and both could start against the Chiefs as long as their bodies respond well.

Most of the starters will play into the third quarter in the Saints' fourth preseason game. Then most will barely play at all in the fifth and final preseason game next week against Miami.

Faine and Fujita said they would like to get on the field Thursday night for a good, long warmup before dialing it back down next week.

Both said it drove them crazy to miss the past two games.

The injured players took a bus from the hotel to the stadium around halftime last week in Cincinnati, but Faine said he stayed in the locker room because he was "almost embarrassed" about not being able to play with a strained calf.

"Obviously I want to support the team, and obviously I want to be out there," Faine said. "But I don't feel right being on the sideline."

Fujita, who was out with a bruised heel, stayed in the locker room for a while. But then he said he and defensive tackle Brian Young couldn't take it anymore, so they rummaged up some Saints windbreakers that hadn't been packed up and went out on the field.

OTHER INJURIES: Receiver Marques Colston is likely to miss his second consecutive game with a sore knee. Saints Coach Sean Payton said Colston would probably be able to play if it were a regular-season game, but he doesn't want to push it, especially since this is a short week of practice.

Linebacker Mark Simoneau was limited during Tuesday's practices with a minor knee bruise that he suffered Saturday night against Cincinnati. Payton said there is a "good chance" Simoneau will play Thursday. But backup Brian Simmons was working with the first-string defense in his place.

Offensive tackle Jammal Brown (knee), receiver Devery Henderson (hamstring), receiver Jamal Jones (knee), defensive end Rob Ninkovich (knee) and Young (foot) also did not practice and aren't expected to play.

Cornerback Jason David will not make the trip to Kansas City because his wife is expecting the birth of their first child any day now.

BAKER AMONG EARLY CUTS: The Saints released three players Tuesday -- quarterback Matt Baker and offensive linemen Jake Kuresa and Nik Sobic. The Saints have to make 10 cuts by the start of next week, but they decided to thin out the roster a little early. Payton said the Saints will make the rest of their cuts Friday or Saturday.

Baker, who signed with the Saints two weeks ago, apparently didn't show enough in his limited audition Saturday night to push Tyler Palko or Jason Fife for the No. 3 quarterback job.

Payton said he has not decided if Palko or Fife will play in Thursday's game, but he warned that they aren't the only two guys left in the competition.

"I tell our players all the time that they're competing for a position with each other, and they're also competing with the rest of these backup quarterbacks around the league that might be waived," Payton said. "We spend a lot of time looking at these other preseason games and identifying players that might become available.

"That's not unique to the quarterbacks -- that goes for each position. I think it's important that the players don't start looking at the roster and try to figure out how it's going to shape up, because they don't know who they're competing with outside of who's here."

WEIGHT? Payton said the Saints had weigh-ins Tuesday, and everyone made weight except defensive tackle Hollis Thomas.

"Hollis was a little bit over, but he's getting there," Payton said. "He's moving in the right direction."

For the time being, Thomas seems to be behind Kendrick Clancy on the depth chart, but that is one of several competitions that could go down to the wire.

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