For the first time in nine days, we’ll get to see and hear from the New Orleans Saints again today. They held a bonus practice on Monday after players were given the entire bye week off, but that session was closed to the media. Today will be the first day with player and coach interviews and an injury report.
The biggest news of the day will be an update on tight end Jimmy Graham's foot injury. But don’t be surprised if we don’t get any clarity on his status over the next few days. He’s expected to be a “day-to-day” question mark, possibly right up until kickoff against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. It will be a good sign if Graham is able to do any work on the practice field, even if it’s on a limited basis.
And we’ll check in with coach Sean Payton on recent developments like the decision to release third-year linebacker Martez Wilson and how he thought veteran Jonathan Vilma has looked since returning to practice this week.
Payton and players should talk between 2:45 and 4 p.m. ET, with the injury report being released at 4. Stay tuned for updates.
Worth a click:
The Football Outsiders updated their playoff odds (based on some math that’s above my head, but also based on some always-thorough football analysis). They actually have the Seattle Seahawks as the team most likely to win the Super Bowl at 20.7 percent (perhaps because the AFC contenders are so jumbled up, especially in the AFC West). The Saints are sixth overall at 6.7 percent, but they’re the second most likely NFC team to make the playoffs (at 85.7 percent). … And just for fun, they figure there’s a 0.2 percent chance of a “Ryan Bowl” with the Saints and New York Jets and a 0.1 percent chance of a “Drew Brees Reunion Special” between the Saints and San Diego Chargers.
The Times-Picayune’s Larry Holder offers some interesting details on why he thinks Wilson became expendable and why the Saints are so high on rookie quarterback Ryan Griffin.
The Advocate’s Ramon Antonio Vargas points out a couple under-the-radar areas where the Saints need to improve down the stretch.
Saints president Dennis Lauscha revealed on the team’s website that the Saints are looking into adding a center-hung video board inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to help boost their bid to host Super Bowl LII in 2018.
Also on the team website, Darren Sproles’ wife Michel shared her story about being diagnosed with breast cancer last year for the first time at a Pink Luncheon hosted by the Ochsner Health System. She said at first she wanted to deal with it on her own but realized sharing her story could help inspire and educate others.