<span>The Saints and the Texans concluded their third practice against each other this morning at the Saints' training facility in Metairie.
After two sessions yesterday that were incident free, it didn't take long for tempers to flare early this morning. During the first combined session featuring the Saints' offense against the Texans defense, a hard pass rush from DE Earl Cochran and the subsequent counter-block and dislodging of his helmet by Saints G Jahri Evans led to a brief scrum that was joined by a handful of players.
Control was quickly restored to the practice and the teams continued to work without incident for the next hour.
"It happens occasionally in football," said Evans of the skirmish. "There are no hard feelings. He is playing hard, I am playing hard and it just sort of happened. I don't think it's a big deal and I would say he probably feels the same way."
Head Coach Sean Payton said that the incident was isolated and that the he pleased with the work the Saints got out of the joint practices and the work against the Texans was something that he said his team prospered from doing. "It's always good to work against another team because they give you different looks and schemes from what we are used to seeing and you practice at a higher tempo than if you were just running scout team drills. It's been a good two days for us."
Payton announced today following the team's joint practice with the Texans that defensive tackle Hollis Thomas suffered a torn triceps injury yesterday morning during one-on-one pass rush drills.
Payton said that the injury could sideline the veteran up to two months. Thomas had an MRI yesterday afternoon and underwent surgery this morning to repair the muscle.
"It's tough news to hear," said defensive tackle Brian Young. "These things happen, though, and while it's always hard to see a teammate and someone as likeable as Hollis get hurt, we know that we have the talent to keep going. We have some really good depth at the position and a good mix of older players and younger players and I think that we'll be okay."
Payton said this after the practice regarding the injury report: "On the players that did not practice--Adrian Arrington with his toe, Reggie Bush's knee was a little sore and we held him out, David Patten we held out, Jeremy Shockey is getting close (to returning), Mark Simoneau's (back was still a bit sore). Sedrick Ellis went through the individual work and his ankle was a little sore; he had a bruise from yesterday and we held him out of the team drills. Curome Cox has a strained groin – nothing serious."