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Could Colston's injury be Meachem's big break?

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

We've heard a lot about how tight end Jeremy Shockey and running back Reggie Bush will be counted on to pick up some of the slack with wide receiver Marques Colston out at least a month with an injury. There's also been some talk about Devery Henderson and David Patten, the top remaining healthy receivers.

But what about Robert Meachem? This finally may be his chance.

Meachem, of course, was a first-round pick last year. But he never got on the field last season, largely because of a knee injury. Meachem was deactivated last week and that surprised some because he had a strong preseason. But that might have been due to a numbers game for the special teams.

With Colston out, there's an active spot for Meachem and he might be able to take advantage of it. No one's ready to declare him the next Colston or even a potential starter. But Meachem does have good size and that could get him some playing time in the red zone.

Some fans might be ready to give up on Meachem, but that's premature. Quarterback Drew Brees had some high praise for Meachem's progress Wednesday.

"I just see him continue to work and continue to get better," Brees said. "He's a guy who really takes a lot of pride in his improvement, takes coaching very well and has taken a lot of mentorship from guys on this team. He's always looking to get better."