Drew Brees is close.
In fact, I've now officially entered the "had this been a regular season game he would play" mode. It's probably been that way for awhile. I find it hard to believe Brees would ever miss a game due to an oblique strain.
Nonetheless, Tuesday he suited up in full pads for the first time since the injury occurred seven practices ago.
Every day, Brees seems to do a little more. Today, he didn't practice in either individual or team drills, but he threw a lot of passes to injured Kenny Stills and did a ton of drop back drills with trainer Scottie Patton.
In the afternoon walkthrough, Brees took snaps and even throw some passes during goal line drills.
In saying that, I don't think he plays on Friday. Its not worth the risk. He hasn't practiced since before the black and gold scrimmage and the backup quarterback battle has become a big storyline at camp.
The more reps Luke McCown or Ryan Griffin get with the first team, the more of a sample size Coach Payton will have to get a true read on who should back up Brees. I've said all along it should be Griffin. And I'm sticking with it.
But regardless, I think it's pretty obvious Brees will be back soon, just not Friday.
Brees wasn't the only veteran to show signs of recovery, Champ Bailey showed signs of growth as well Tuesday.
Bailey puts the pads for the first time since suffering an undisclosed injury nearly two weeks ago. Bailey was able to go through walkthrough with the first team.
Play of the Day I
The Saints went vertical a few times on offense and had some nice connections. Ryan Griffin found Nick Toon on the left sideline who beat Stanley Jean Baptiste for a big gain.
Later in practice, Logan Kilgore found Seantavius Jones on the opposite sideline for another big gain.
Play of the Day II
Defensively, Vinnie Sunseri came through for the second straight day with a big hit. He lowered the boom on tight end Nic Jacobs. He laid a similar hit Monday on Josh Hill, the only difference is Tuesday Jacobs held on to the pass.
The hit drew a 'oooohh' from the players and crowd.
Did Not Participate
LB David Hawthorne
LB Klye Knox
CB Patrick Robinson
FB Erik Lorig
OG Jahri Evans
OLB Victor Butler
CB Rod Sweeting
WR Kenny Stills
T Ty Nsekhe
Evans was at least present at practice for the first time since getting injured last Monday. Lorig and Butler have been nowhere to be found since their undisclosed injuries occured. Hawthorne and Knox are new names added to the list.
-Jean-Baptiste was beat on the play above but he battled back to have a solid practice. He had back-to-back pass break ups during team drills. Jean-Baptiste is not there yet but he is getting a ton of first team reps with injuries at cornerback. You can see some progress in his game.
- Corey White continued his good camp with another play Tuesday. Luke McCown went deep to Joe Morgan on a post route. It wasn't the best throw, but still White recovered to come back in and make a nice pass break-up.
- I've been hard on Brodrick Bunkley in the past, but he's had a solid camp thus far. Early on during third and short period, he stuffed Mark Ingram for a loss.
- One player that's flashed at practice that I didn't have on my radar is defensive end Rufus Johnson. He has been aggressive in the pass rush and has made some plays against the run. I'll be keying on Johnson Friday for sure.
- Tuesday's practice was on the field turf field for the first time. I'm a bit surprised they haven't used it more since that is the surface they'll be playing on for 11 games this season.