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Saints Wrap Up Preparations For Carolina

Payton discusses status of Pierre Thomas, Harper

Following the club's final full-length practice of the week, Saints Coach Sean Payton met with the media, updating the status of RB Pierre Thomas and S Roman Harper, as well as further discussing Sunday's matchup with Carolina, including the dangerous element that a winless team can bring to the table:

 

Opening Statement:

"With the final injury report, Usama Young with his quad was full today and will be probable for the game. Roman Harper with his hamstring was limited today and will be questionable. Pierre Thomas with his ankle was limited today and will be questionable. Anthony Waters with his hamstring was limited today and will be doubtful. Reggie Bush (fibula) did not practice and is out. We had a practice squad transaction where Adrian Arrington came to the practice squad and Montez Billings came off the practice squad."

 You've said that teams can be dangerous following a loss. Have you seen from your team this week the kind of intensity that would make them a dangerous team?

* *"We've had a good week of practice. We've had good focus. Sometimes when you follow a loss there is that sense of urgency; you hope that there is and I feel like we've had that type of focus and energy level at practice."

 Do you get the sense that the players were craving the routine of a normal workweek this week?

"I think we've been able to handle the schedule to date and yet now you fall into a little bit more of a normal week. Overall, it has gone relatively smoothly."

Is Pierre Thomas still a game-time decision on Sunday?

"Yes.  From both he and Roman (Harper) I'm going to have to see some positive signs to feel comfortable and yet I'm hopeful based on the fact that they got some work today. They were limited but they got work today and both of them are progressing quickly, but both of them will be game-time decisions."

When did Harper injure his hamstring?

"With a hamstring, I couldn't point to a play, but he was off and then back on. It's just making sure that there's no threat of a reoccurrence that's more serious."

You were throwing some passes today. Were the juices returning there?

"It's always pat-and-go Friday. When you have two quarterbacks on your roster, you have to fill in."

Does Drew Brees still look good health-wise?

"Yes. Each day the soreness has gone away so he's doing well."

If you decide on Pierre Thomas not being able to play, when is the latest you could bring DeShawn Wynn up from the practice squad?

"Saturday you can make a transaction and do that if you need to. You might do it regardless just so you're prepared and have your options available."

With all these injuries to your running backs, do you lose a lot on special teams?

"It certainly has an effect. Going back to Lynell Hamilton, who really had a clear role as the third halfback and a guy playing on all four core special teams units, there's a drop-off there because we valued him as a pretty good special teams player. A guy like (DeShawn) Wynn, if he comes up, will be able to do – just like he played in the first two weeks of the season – will be able to handle several special teams snaps. But you do shuffle a little bit, no different than in the secondary the same way."

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