Saints coach Sean Payton said Thursday that wide receiver Marques Colston will be active and play Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, confirming what he told Jacksonville reporters a day earlier.
Colston has missed the past two games after having surgery Sept. 9 to repair a fractured collarbone that he suffered in the closing seconds of a 42-34 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the season opener.
During his daily news conference Wednesday, Payton only said Colston, who had surgery to have a small steel plate attached to his right collarbone, practiced on a limited basis after catching passes in individual drills last week.
However, Payton told Jacksonville media that Colston had been medically cleared and would return for Sunday’s game. Initially, it was thought he would miss four games.
“I would say he’s probably on schedule, and things have gone well,” Payton said Thursday. “Our plan is to incorporate him into the game plan. I think he will be activated and I think he’ll be in the plan.
“Like any player coming off an injury, I wouldn’t anticipate him receiving 50 snaps,” Payton said. “I know players that have had (the injury) in our league have taken much longer and others have been a shorter amount, and I’d probably be willing to guess that a lot of it depends on the severity of the fracture.”
PRACTICE REPORT: After getting some good news with Colston working limited and cornerback Tracy Porter having full participation on Wednesday after recovering from a calf injury, middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma practiced on a limited basis Thursday.
Vilma was sidelined for Wednesday’s practice as well as last week’s game against the Houston Texans after injuring his left knee in a Week 2 win over Chicago.
Also limited Thursday were weakside linebacker Jonathan Casillas (foot) and defensive tackle Shaun Rogers (elbow).
Not participating were center Olin Kreutz (knee), tackle Zach Strief (knee), tight end David Thomas (concussion), and strongside linebackers Martez Wilson (shoulder) and Will Herring (hamstring).
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: Before Sunday’s game against the Texans, the Saints had played 50 consecutive regular-season games without a two-point conversion.
Then, in less than 2-1/2 minutes of clock time in the fourth quarter of their 40-33 win, the Saints recorded two two-pointers – with wide receiver Lance Moore getting both of them on passes from Drew Brees.
The last time the Saints scored one was in the 2007 regular-season finale at Chicago. They were 0 for 3 in 2008 and 0 for 1 in each of the past two seasons.
They did have one in Super Bowl XLIV, which also went from Brees to Moore on the same play they scored both on against the Texans.
BREES MOVING UP: Brees can take over sole possession of the third-longest streak in NFL history with a touchdown pass against the Jaguars on Sunday.
Against the Texans, Brees threw for three scores to push his streak to 30 consecutive games, tying him with Dan Marino (1985-87). The only players with longer streaks are Johnny Unitas with 47 (1956-60) and Brett Favre with 36 (2002-04).
The last time Brees failed to throw a touchdown pass was on Oct. 4, 2009, against the New York Jets. In the 30 regular-season games since, Brees has 67 scoring passes.
AFC SUCCESS: Payton is having greater success against the AFC after going 2-7 against the other conference in his first two-plus seasons as a head coach.
With the win over the Texans last week, Payton has taken 10 of 12 against the AFC and is 12-9 all-time. Going into this week’s game against the Jaguars, he’s 13-9 if you count his win over Indianapolis in Super XLIV.