Tampa, Fla. - New Orleans Saints safety Kenny Vaccaro was a late, surprise inactive for Sunday's season regular-season finale against Tampa Bay.
Vaccaro, who finished with 74 tackles, two interceptions and a sack, sat out the 23-20 victory with an injured quadriceps. He said the injury is one he played with throughout the season, until it progressed to the point where he no longer could.
An MRI revealed a "Grade 2 tear," according to Vaccaro, which forced him to miss his only game this season. The injury never was reported, he said, because he never reported it due to the fact that it never caused him to miss practice.
"I'm not the training room type, so I just kind of played through it," Vaccaro said. "I played through it Atlanta week (last Sunday) and as the week went on this week, (it became a) progressive injury. I was like, 'Let me get an MRI.' Found out I actually have a Grade 2 tear (of the quad)."
"I'm not the type of guy that's going to check on every nick, be in the training room for every scratch I get. And I really wanted to help the team. I really wanted to play so that's why I didn't get an MRI until real late. I was like, 'Maybe it's nothing serious,' because I really wanted to play this game."
He said the injury was similar to the quad injury experienced by receiver Kenny Stills in training camp. The injury sidelined Stills for much of training camp and preseason.
"He was healthy, practiced all week," Coach Sean Payton said Sunday of Vaccaro. "And then at the end of practice Friday, he had gone fully, got some treatment and that was something that was really laboring him.
"Obviously, that wasn't the intent or else he wouldn't have practiced. There was a little bit of a surprise, but it was something that was pretty significant and it was something that we made a decision on (Saturday) night."
Vaccaro said that the injury would not require surgery.
Photos of Kenny Vaccaro at 2014 New Orleans Saints Training Camp presented by Verizon. (New Orleans Saints photos)