The Saints got back to work Monday with the second to last “training camp” practice. Workouts will continue but will not be open to the public following Tuesday morning’s practice. The Saints came off of a little time off and it might have showed.
“After two days off we came back and were just a little sluggish to start this practice. We came back a little stronger after that,” said assistant head coach Joe Vitt after practice.
The following are quick takes on the day’s events.
The Saints enter their work week a little banged up as coach Vitt gave reporters the latest update on the team’s injuries.
WR Adrian Arrington. Arrington after waiting for differing opinions underwent surgery to repair a meniscus injury Monday according to Vitt. Coach gave no time table for a return to practice. Typically meniscus recoveries can be around three to five weeks. If it is the latter, then it could put Arrington in danger of not being ready for the season opener on September 9 against the Washing Redskins.
RB Darren Sproles. Sproles gave some fans a scare today as reports hit social media that the human video game was not practicing. Sproles in shorts and a jersey was an observer on Monday. His injury? According to Vitt its “a knee”. A bruised knee to be exact. Sproles has already been ruled out of Friday preseason game against Jacksonville. Not to worry Who Dats as Vitt said that if Friday were a regular season game Sproles would be available to play and his being held out is more of a precautionary measure. Whew!
TE Jimmy Graham. Graham dressed out and went through many of the drills but was held out of team drills as he recovers from last week’s rough landing. Graham in the Wednesday practice against the Patriots went up for a ball and landed on his back. Vitt said the star tight end is just sore and could play if there were a game to be played.
WR Nick Toon. The Saints 4th round draft pick missed all of last week with a foot injury and it appears he will miss all of this week. Vitt suggested that Toon’s return could come early next week. The loss of another week is key for the rookie for if indeed it’s until next week that he returns to action, he would then have missed three preseason games (Cardinals, Patriots, & Jags) lowering the chances of contributing early less likely. Toon after a nice minicamp and solid OTA workouts had a few believing he could make a push for the team’s fourth receiver spot. That’s all but gone right now at least to start the season.
DE Turk McBride has ankle injury. No timetable on his return was given.
DT Tom Johnson has a sprained ankle. Johnson missed last week. Vitt said he could be out another 10 days.
DT Broderick Bunkley. The free agent defensive tackle pick up was seen hobbling off the field on Monday towards the end of practice.
There was good news on the injury front as well. WR Devery Henderson, RB Mark Ingram, LB David Hawthorne, and CB Patrick Robinson were back at practice after missing all of last week.
BODY BY BREES
Monday afternoon Brees via his Twitter account tweeted, “Is it normal to lose 8 lbs at practice? Steamy day in Nola.”
Naturally many responses to Drew’s Twitter account were of the “I need to go to like five of these football practices” by a female follower. A male follower responded “take it from some1 that had heat exhaustion after a practice, albeit just high school. Don’t mess with that NOLA heat. #WhoDat”
Well at this time of the year to answer Brees’ question it can be normal to lose 8 pounds.
“It’s mostly water weight due to the heat,” says Russ Buller Associate Dir of strength and conditioning for Tulane football. Buller says the drastic loss of water causes cramping, heat exhaustion and possible injuries due to dehydration.
“We actually weigh the guys before and after to keep track of a player’s body weight,” Buller speaks or the procedure done by the Saints as well before and after every practice. In cases of two-a-days which the NFL due to the new CBA does not have any longer but college football does, “If they don’t gain that weight back when we weigh them prior to the second practice then it usually means they are suffering from dehydration.
Buller added that like the Saints trainers and staff, following a practice where extreme heat is a factor the top priority is making sure players take back in the fluids that are loss through sweating and high heat.
One way to put that weight back on? Jimmy Johns! Brees tweeted that the brand new Elmwood location will open on Tuesday August 14. An uptown location on Maple Street is set to open in the coming weeks as well joining the Veterans location that Brees is tied to.
RB Travaris Cadet is having a pretty good training camp and preseason, but is it enough to win him a roster sport. Running backs Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, and Mark Ingram aren’t going anywhere. Chris Ivory was thought to be a clear cut fourth running back. Cadet’s plays combined with fumbles by Ivory at practice have at least opened the door to discussions among media to the possibility of Cadet earning a spot on the team.
Cadet has gained 23 yards on 15 carries on the ground through two preseason games. Ivory has rushed 17 times for 30 yards. Cadet however has shown he can catch the ball out of the backfield grabbing 14 balls for 109 yards and has the team’s only touchdown reception. Cadet also can return punts and kick offs.
WWL-TV’s Bradley Handwerger had a chance to catch up with the Pearl River Community College and Appalachian State product following Monday’s practice.
The defense continues to play well as a pair of defensive backs deserve to be noticed.
S Malcolm Jenkins had a nice tip-to-himself interception off a Drew Brees pass.
CB Patrick Robinson also had an interception off of a Brees pass as he covered WR Marques Colston. Robinson had great coverage, making a solid play on the ball, all things we have seen since the start of training camp.
While” Bounty-Gate”, suspensions, and grievance hearings got most of the attention this offseason “Eavesdrop-Gate” also was a distraction the team dealt with. Monday afternoon Louisiana State police after a five-month investigation concluded that they found no evidence the New Orleans Saints eavesdropped on conversations.
An investigation began following an ESPN story that alleged Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis eavesdropped on conversations between the sideline and coaching boxes via a communication line that could be switched between hearing Saints coach and opposing coaches.
Loomis has denied the allegations all along. State Police Col. Mike Edmondson in a Monday afternoon press conference gave what was found by investigators. “This has been an intensive investigation, and after numerous interviews we have determined there is no evidence that state laws have been violated.”
The FBI is still investigating the matter on their end.