METAIRIE, La. (AP) -Saints running back Reggie Bush sat out practice Thursday, but coach Sean Payton is not ready to rule Bush out for Sunday's crucial home game against Philadelphia.
``We backed off him some today,'' Payton said of Bush, who practiced to a limited extent on Wednesday.
The Saints discovered on Dec. 6 that Bush had a partial posterior cruciate ligament tear that would not require surgery, but would likely require about a month of rehabilitation.
Bush, however, returned to practice this week, ahead of schedule after sitting out only two games.
The Saints (7-7) risk being eliminated from playoff contention if they fall to the Eagles and Minnesota beats Washington.
Also out on Thursday was tight end Eric Johnson, who missed last weekend's game with a pulled right groin. Like Bush, Johnson participated in some portions of Wednesday's practice before resting the following day.
``Part of the plan was getting a good day's work on Wednesday and then to see where we we're at today,'' Payton said. ``In both of their cases ... it's too early to say. We'll see how they're doing tomorrow (Friday).''

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