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Saints' Jimmy Graham will 'live in the treatment room' after big night

NEW ORLEANS -- Jimmy Graham is clearly on the road to recovery after finally busting loose in the third quarter of the New Orleans Saints' 44-23 victory against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.

But Graham will have to fight through at least one more tough week with his ailing shoulder as he and the Saints have to quickly turn around and travel to the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night.

"(Monday’s) gonna be pretty rough for me, I already know. But I’ll take the next 48 hours, that’s really what’s most important, trying to get the swelling and what-not down and try to get ready on Thursday," Graham said after Sunday's game. "I’ll pretty much live in the treatment room, and I’ll be hooked up to all kinds of stuff while I sleep."

When asked if the recovery is all that’s bothering him now instead of the actual game play, Graham smiled.

"It all bothers me, but I’m gonna do whatever it takes to be out there on the field for this team, and do whatever I can to help us win," Graham said.

It’s unclear when Graham will be back to "100 percent" with the unspecified shoulder injury he suffered three weeks ago. But on Sunday night he showed he can still produce in a big way even if he’s not 100 percent.

After not catching a pass in the first half, stretching his shutout streak to six quarters, Graham busted out with five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter.

Graham played 42 snaps in the game -- up from 30 a week earlier at Detroit. And coach Sean Payton described him as "full" after saying he was limited to certain packages the week before.

Graham said he didn’t get frustrated when he didn’t catch any passes in the first half (he was targeted once, but a back-shoulder throw from Drew Brees into the end zone was just out of Graham’s reach).

"Sean always tells me, 'Hey, be patient. You know, at a big moment, when it matters, we’re gonna come your way. And we’re gonna come your way big,'" Graham said. "So he’s telling me that all through the first half, and he goes through some plays and says, 'Hey listen, it’s your time.'

"So when you have a head coach that does that for you and you have an offensive coordinator that does that for you -- and Pete Carmichael came up to me and said the same thing -- its buckle your chin strap, because it’s coming your way."