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Ted Ginn Jr. returns to practice for New Orleans Saints

Receiver went on injured reserve Oct. 18

New Orleans Saints receiver Ted Ginn Jr., who has been on injured reserve since Oct. 19 after having knee surgery, returned to the practice field Wednesday.

If a player is to return to the roster from injured reserve, he has to be on IR for eight weeks before being eligible to return. Ginn, who now is eligible, said he has been running for several weeks and believes he's in game shape if needed.

"I believe I'm up to speed," he said. "It's an organization, and you've got to play your role. I just go out and do as they tell me to, work me in however they have to. Just try to be that team player and that leader and just come back out and give a little spark to my team."

Ginn caught 12 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns in the first four games before knee soreness had to be remedied surgically.

In the ensuing 10 games, the Saints went 9-1 and posted four 40-plus point games. But the last three games, the offense has totaled 50 points.

"I've seen a lot of brotherhood," Ginn said. "Like (Coach) Sean (Payton) always says, you never know how the game is going to go. The team picks it up the best way they know how, they're fighting the best way they know how to fight. I've seen them have their heads down and pick it up and go on and get a big win. I'm just eager to get back in and fight with my guys."

Ginn said it was difficult not being able to play. The victories tempered some of the disappointment, but not all.

"It was tough, not being out there to fight with your brothers," he said. "I watched it. I enjoyed (seeing the team win), but I didn't enjoy (not being able to contribute). It shows a lot about what this game means to me and my family, what brotherhood stands for. Just eager to get back and help my team."

He said his availability will depend on how he's evaluated during practice.

"It's all in their hands," he said. "I'm just going to go out, continue to practice, do as they ask and I'll be ready when they call my number."

New Orleans Saints wide receiver Ted Ginn (19) pulls in a touchdown pass against Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Chris Conte (23) in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)