METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints right tackle Zach Strief (ankle) practiced on a limited basis Thursday, increasing the chances that he may be able to play Sunday night against the Carolina Panthers.
Four other Saints were held out of team drills Thursday: defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (ankle), defensive end Glenn Foster (knee), outside linebacker Keyunta Dawson (calf) and safety Rafael Bush (ankle).
This was the Saints' first practice of the week since they moved their normal schedule back by one day following the Monday night game, so it's still too early to predict whether any of those players has a chance to play Sunday. The good news is that the Saints should have enough depth to absorb the losses of those defensive players, if needed.
As for the Saints' condensed practice week, coach Sean Payton insisted Thursday that he doesn't think it will be a big adjustment for the team to move everything back a day. The team treated Thursday's schedule exactly like a normal Wednesday. And they'll do the same each of the next two days.
The only significant difference will be holding a longer practice than usual Saturday -- the day before a game. But Payton said that's not a big deal since that last practice of the week is usually light. Plus, the Saints have extra time in the week with a Sunday night game.
Asked about the fact that everyone in the NFL is a "creature of habit," Payton responded: "We are creatures of habit. So today's Wednesday."