METAIRIE â€“ Who Dat Nation may have to wait two more weeks for the long-awaited return of injured New Orleans Saints running back/punt returner Reggie Bush.
Bush, who has missed the past six games after fracturing his right fibula against the San Francisco 49ers on Sept. 20, practiced on a limited basis Friday and is listed as doubtful on the teamâ€™s official injury report.
The Saints (5-3) will play the NFC South cellar-dwelling Carolina Panthers (1-6) at noon Sunday at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C.
â€œ(Bush) is moving around and still you wouldnâ€™t list him at 100%,â€™â€™ Saints Coach Sean Payton said Friday during his post-practice press briefing. â€œBut heâ€™s making progress. Heâ€™s actually going to travel and work out Sunday prior to the game. Weâ€™ll see where heâ€™s at, but, in these last couple of days, heâ€™s been making visible progress, which is encouraging.â€
Asked if Bush would be a game-time decision, Payton replied: â€œHe would be a game-time decision. Otherwise, weâ€™d list him as out and we wouldnâ€™t travel him. So, we are going to work him out and see where heâ€™s at on Sunday.â€
Bush completed the practice week with back-to-back days of limited work Thursday and Friday, his first workouts since the 49ersâ€™ game in Week 2.
And while Bush is considered to have a 25 percent chance of playing against the Panthers, he came away encouraged that at the very least he should be back on the field after the bye week against the Seattle Seahawks on Nov. 21 at the Superdome.
â€œItâ€™s a little sore today just because I did a lot yesterday,â€™â€™ Bush said. â€œNevertheless, it doesnâ€™t hurt and thereâ€™s not really any pain. So thatâ€™s obviously a positive note.
â€œJust from last week to this week, from not really being able to run and now being able to run, Iâ€™m just encouraged with the progress Iâ€™m making and how itâ€™s feeling and all those different things.â€™â€™
(filed with the league office Friday)
-- Out: CB Patrick Robinson (high ankle sprain), RB Pierre Thomas (sprained left ankle).
-- Doubtful: RB/PR Reggie Bush (right fibula).
-- Questionable: S Pierson Prioleau (ankle).
-- Probable: RT Jon Stinchcomb (knee). Worked on a limited basis Friday after not working Wednesday and Thursday.
The team departs for Charlotte at 11 a.m. Saturday and will hold a walk-through in the afternoon at Bank of America Stadium. â€¦ Panthersâ€™ RB DeAngelo Williams, the teamâ€™s leading rusher with 361 yards and one touchdown, has not practiced this week and is listed as doubtful. â€¦ Saints P Thomas Morstead is expected to handle the kickoff duties Sunday for K Garrett Hartley, who has practiced fully the past two days after suffering a sprained right ankle against Pittsburgh.
BY THE NUMBERS
3-6: Saintsâ€™ record against Carolina under Coach Sean Payton, including 1-3 at Bank of America Stadium.
â€œWeâ€™ll see.â€™â€™ _ Sean Payton when asked if cornerbacks Jabari Greer and Tracy Porter will start against the Panthers. Greer (left shoulder) and Porter (left knee) are returning to the game-day roster after missing the past two and four games, respectively, because of injuries.
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