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

CFL Betting News and Notes Week 6 on Fri, Jul 2017 by Blade
College Football Conference Previews on Wed, Jul 2017 by Blade
Improve your NFL betting skills on Tue, Jul 2017 by JJordan90
CFL Betting News and Notes Week 5 on Mon, Jul 2017 by Blade
Pac-12 Schedule Breakdown on Sun, Jul 2017 by Blade

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Seahawks Win Total Prediction Will the Seahawks win 10 games for the third consecutive season or will they improve upon that number in 2017?
Thumbnail Falcons' 2017 Win Total Prediction Will the Falcons have a Super Bowl hangover or are they a good bet to go over their season win total over/under?
Thumbnail Patriots' 2017 Over/Under Prediction Could the Patriots actually go 16-0 in the regular season? Here's our prediction for New England's 2017 win total.
Thumbnail Rams 2017 Win Total Prediction Armed with a new coaching staff, how many wins with the L.A. Rams finish with in 2017?
Thumbnail Don't Pass on these NFL Betting Picks It may be of small comfort that that the regular season is still one and a half months away from starting, but compared to the long wait we’ve had since the...

NFL Team Pages