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Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux will remain on injured reserve, Coach Sean Payton says

Breaux hasn't played this season

A look at Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux throughout the 2016 season.

New Orleans Saints cornerback Delvin Breauxwill remain on injured reserve, Coach Sean Paytonsaid Thursday morning in a teleconference with local media.

Breaux hasn't played this season due to surgery and rehab to repair a broken left fibula. He missed most of last season, too, with various injuries, including a broken fibula in the 2016 opener.

When Breaux was healthy during the offseason, he spent much of the time working with the No. 1 defense but was diagnosed with a broken fibula early in training camp, after an original diagnosis of a leg contusion. He was back in practice last week, but suffered a setback that again has sidelined him.

"Obviously, you want your players healthy," Payton said. "The rehab is going well, he has worked hard and diligent. It's still not 100 percent, but it is going well and all the indications we have when do the scans and the testing show it healing properly."

IMPROVED DEPTH:Last year, when linebacker Craig Robertsonwas pressed into duty in the base defense, the special team units suffered because Robertson was projected to be a core member. That hasn't been the case as much this year. Robertson is playing more base defense since rookie Alex Anzaloneinjured his shoulder against Miami, but the special team units have remained solid.

"I think we are deeper this year," Payton said. "This is going to be a stretch here that's going to be important. This game, in the kicking game, is going to be important.

"I think we've covered punts well and that's been a big plus. There are some other areas that we need to get going on. We're at the halfway point of the season now and ranked in the bottom third of the league in a number of those areas, and that's not good enough. But I think we've got the depth at safety, the depth at linebacker, for us to be effective and actually be competitive there."

Buffalo's Brandon Tate averages 11.3 yards per punt return and 21.7 per kickoff return, and Deonte Thompson averages 20.8 yards per kickoff return.

THE END GAME:Receiver Drew Brees hasn't yet worked back into a groove with the Saints offense. In three games he still has one catch for 11 yards. But Payton said the team will continue to integrate Snead, who missed the first three games due to suspension, then the fourth game due to a still-healing hamstring injury.

"It's his third week, really his second full week (at) full speed," Payton said. "That's kind of a long time off. He's going to continue to be worked into the plan."

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