The return to action of tight end Jimmy Graham would definitely boost the chances for third straight win by the New Orleans Saints. But it is no guarantee that he will play Sunday night.
Graham's availability for the Saints game at Denver (3-3) has been deemed at game time decision, according to New Orleans interim head coach Joe Vitt. The Pro Bowl tight end injured his right ankle during the Saints' win over the San Diego Chargers nearly three weeks ago. Graham, who stayed in New Orleans due to the high ankle sprain while the Saints went to Tampa to defeat the Bucs last Sunday, said Friday he watched his team beat their NFC South rivals from the training room in hopes of being ready for the battle with the Broncos.
Linebacker David Hawthorne has also been labeled a game time decision. The free agent addition from the Seattle Seahawks started the first three games of 2012 for the Saints before tearing a hamstring in a home loss to Kansas City on September 23. Hawthorne returned to practice for the first time this week on a limited basis.
Running back Darren Sproles missed practice time this week due to personal issues but will play against the Broncos.
Meanwhile, former Saints cornerback Tracy Porter is unlikely to face his former team after missing practice with Denver for second straight day on Friday. The Port Allen native awaits medical clearance to return to action after suffering from moments of light-headedness, dizziness and increased heart rate nearly two weeks ago. Porter suffered a seizure in August after having similar symptoms.
Porter joined the Broncos as a free agent at spending his first four seasons with the Saints.
No other Broncos missed practice Friday, so only Porter is expected to be unavailable Sunday night to face New Orleans (2-4).
Jersey Watch: The Saints confirmed that the team with wear white jersey tops with black pants for a fourth straight game. After a one-point loss to the Packers in Green Bay, New Orleans have won two straight games in that uniform combination. Since Drew Brees became the Saints signal-caller, the team has won games by nearly a touchdown per outing on average in the white-black attire.
Pizza Man-ning: Home is where you take your snaps, if you're an NFL quarterback. New Orleans native Peyton Manning has taken to his new home in Denver in a major way - financial investment. The first-year Broncos starter became the newest franchisee for Papa John's pizza, signing a deal to own 21 stores in the Denver area on Friday.
Brees recently opened a pair of Jimmy John's sandwhich shop locations in the New Orleans area.
There is another Crescent City connection to the news. Papa John's also announced that they signed a deal to become the official pizza of the NFL and the Super Bowl, which will next be held February 3, 2013 in New Orleans.
|RB||Darren Sproles||N.I.R.||DNP||DNP||--||Will Play|
|Limited Participation (LP)=less than 100% of a player's normal reps||Bold indicates change in status|
|Full Participation (FP)=100% of a player's normal reps||Doubtful=at least 75% chance will not play|
|Did Not Participate in Practice (DNP)||Questionable-50-50 chance will not play|
|Probable-virtual certainty will be available for normal duty|
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