METAIRIE, La. (AP) -The Saints' defense will be short at least three players who started in Week 1 when New Orleans plays at Washington on Sunday.
Safety Roman Harper, cornerback Randall Gay and linebacker Scott Fujita were unable to practice Friday, and coach Sean Payton said they will not play this weekend.
Harper pulled his right hamstring and Gay his left hamstring during the season-opening 24-20 victory over Tampa Bay last Sunday. Fujita bruised his right knee in the first quarter of that game, but returned to make a clinching interception.
This week, however, the swelling worsened, so trainers and coaches chose to hold him out, meaning the seventh-year veteran will miss only the second game of his career.
``I was kind of hoping for a miracle and I had hoped that by Friday I would be ready to go, but it's just not'' better, Fujita said. ``It's pretty painful. ... Hopefully by Monday I'll be able to run around a little bit and we'll see how that goes.''
Meanwhile, the Saints placed linebacker Mark Simoneau on injured reserve. Simoneau, a starter the past two seasons, needs surgery on his back to repair a damaged disk, Payton said.
Simoneau's back began bothering him during the preseason and he was unable to play last week. He tried to practice this week before the team's medical staff decided it would be best for him to get surgery.
Simoneau was not expected to start because the Saints acquired Jonathan Vilma in an offseason trade. Still, Simoneau looked strong early in training camp and appeared on track to see regular action in what would have been his ninth season.
Payton said the Saints intended to sign defensive end Josh Savage from the practice squad to fill Simoneau's spot on the roster. The move also meant linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, signed off the practice squad last week, will remain on the active roster for now.
Cornerback Mike McKenzie, who tore his right anterior cruciate ligament late last season, practiced this week. He is very close to being ready, Payton said, adding his status would be a game-time decision.
On offense, the Saints will play a second straight week without reserve running Aaron Stecker (hamstring).
Deuce McAllister, coming back from a second knee reconstruction in three seasons, is expected to be in uniform for a second straight week, but whether he plays for the first time this season is unknown.
Payton said he called McAllister last Sunday night to reassure the Saints' all-time leading rusher that he was ``in the plans.''

Recent NFL Discussions

SUPER BOWL PLAY on Mon, Feb 2017 by MichaelF12
2017 NFL Draft Props on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Handicapping Week 1 on Fri, Feb 2017 by Blade
Blade what time do you get up on Thu, Feb 2017 by Blade
VIR- V TECH GAME on Sun, Feb 2017 by Timmy1961
Advertisement

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Krik Cousins Next Team Prop Odds Which team will Kirk Cousins be playing for in Week 1 of the 2017 NFL regular season?
Thumbnail Tony Romo Next Team Prop Odds Which team will Tony Romo play for when the 2017 NFL regular season begins? Oddsmakers have weighed in.
Thumbnail Taylor could be fit in Cleveland Could current Bills Tyrod Taylor be a fit for the quarterback-needy Browns next season?
Thumbnail Palmer, Fitz both returning for Cards The Arizona Cardinals will have their starting quarterback back for 2017, as Carson Palmer confirmed he will return to play next season.
Thumbnail AFC Championship Odds In no surprise, the Patriots are favored to win the 2018 AFC Conference Championship over the Steelers and the rest of the field.

NFL Team Pages