Brees sits again but not ruled out vs. Rams

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was held out of practice again Wednesday as he recovers from a strained left oblique. But coach Sean Payton declined to rule him out of Friday’s preseason opener at the St. Louis Rams.

It seems highly unlikely that Brees will play, considering the Saints have vowed to take a cautious approach with Brees, who strained his oblique during last Friday’s practice. There’s no reason to push him into a preseason opener.

Payton said Brees is feeling a lot better, though. Observers at practice reported that Brees seemed to increase his workload off to the side, including showing some zip on passes to receiver Kenny Stills at one point.

Payton also declined to give updates on the rest of the Saints’ injuries. According to reports from practice, guards Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs, receivers Stills and Andy Tanner, cornerbacks Champ Bailey and Terrence Frederick, linebacker Victor Butler, defensive tackle John Jenkins, fullback Erik Lorig, tight end Je'Ron Hamm and offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe remained sidelined or absent from practice.

Both Grubbs and Jenkins reportedly appeared to increase their workload off to the side, however.

Meanwhile, receiver Joe Morgan and cornerback Derrius Brooks returned to practice.

Payton is not scheduled to address the media again before Friday's game at St. Louis. The Saints will hold a walk-through at their training camp site in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, on Wednesday afternoon. They will travel to St. Louis on Thursday.