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QBREES9 08-04-2010 11:06 PM

Pierre Thomas X-rays negative,Camp Day 6
The New Orleans Saints got some good news on Wednesday even though it was still very hot outside for the morning practice. After going down with a wrist injury on Tuesday, Pierre Thomas had X-rays taken and they were thankfully negative.

Coach Sean Payton explained to the media exactly how things turned out.
"The X-ray was negative, like we thought yesterday. We expect to have him back sooner rather than later."

When asked if Thomas would be out any specific length of time, Payton responded with, "No, just soon. I think within the next couple of days."
Practice Update: Thursday morning's practice will now be held indoors meaning it is closed to the public.
Darren Sharper, Clint Ingram, and Robert Meachem continue to sit out of practice on the Active PUP list. Meachem does participate in walk-throughs from time to time.

Jeremy Shockey sat out a fifth straight practice while Scott Shanle was out for his third in a row; both with knee issues. Payton said they are both day-to-day and it's just making sure they are rested well enough before coming back.

Will Smith lost his starting defensive end partner when Charles Grant was let go at the end of last season, but there are a few names in the mix to take over the vacant spot. Alex Brown and Jimmy Wilkerson are battling it out with a returning Bobby McCray for the starting position.
Payton made sure to let all know that no-one has locked it down just yet.
"We’re rotating a few guys through there. Jimmy Wilkerson is getting out and getting snaps now and of course Alex and Bobby McCray. The good news is that we have some depth and some flexibility so we’re getting a look at all of those guys and we’ll be able to do that more once we get into the preseason games."

Through the first almost week of practice, I've noticed a lot in Wilkerson and see him getting into the backfield quite often during 11-on-11 drills. My gut instinct tells me that Brown has the advantage for the starting spot, but there's still a long way to go before the regular season starts.
For the first time in the past three days of practice, Drew Brees and the Saints' offense stepped it up and were the ones that shined brightest on the field. The defense has been looking good lately knocking down a lot of passes (especially Roman Harper), but today it was the offense that looked more up to game speed.

Brees completed every single pass during red zone drills and certainly is enjoying having Marques Colston back on the field. Running backs Lynell Hamilton and rookie Chris Ivory are looking good again as Thomas sits out, but they are still having some issues holding on to the ball. Ivory had yet another fumble to add to his running total while Hamilton had two.
Coach Payton said that a few guys had some hamstring tweaks during practice including Tory Humphrey and rookie Patrick Robinson. I noticed Tracy Porter standing around a bit as well and Payton said that they decided to hold him back near the "latter half of practice with some back spasms."
When it comes to who will step into Mark Brunell's spot as Brees' back-up; there really still isnt' a front-runner as of yet between Patrick Ramsey, Chase Daniel, and Sean Canfield. None has overly impressed so far, but Coach Payton feels there are plenty of reasons for that.

"So far they’re handling it well. There’s a lot being thrown at them, not only from an offensive install standpoint but also what they’re seeing defensively. I’m pleased. There’s a lot of room for improvement. In Patrick's case it’s really his first exposure to what we’re doing. Chase is a year into it now and then you look at Sean, who’s just a rookie; those guys are going to get a lot of reps in the preseason."

I'll be back this afternoon with another report from the Saints' training facility in Metairie. Wednesday afternoon's practice will be indoors and also closed to the public.

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