Saints’ RB Cadet active for game with Packers

GREEN BAY, Wis. – Saints rookie running back Travaris Cadet is active for the first time in three weeks for today’s game with the Green Bay Packers in Lambeau Field.

Cadet was active for the season opener, but was a healthy inactive for the past two games.

Because Cadet is active, the Saints once again deactivated running back Chris Ivory for the fourth straight week even though he’s been healthy all season.

In addition to Ivory, the other Saints inactives are LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), LB Jonathan Casillas (neck). DE Turk McBride (ankle), CB Elbert Mack, DT Tyrunn Walker, and T Bryce Harris.

Veteran Will Herring is expected to start at weakside linebacker for Hawthorne.

The Packers inactives are S Sean Richardson (hamstring), CB Davon House (shoulder), RB James Starks (toe), WR Jarrett Boykin, LB Terrell Manning, TE D.J. Williams and DE Phillip Merling.

Saints LBs Hawthorne, Casillas ruled out of Sunday’s game

Saints weakside linebacker David Hawthorne, who returned for the season opener after having arthroscopic knee surgery in mid-August, will not play Sunday at Green Bay because of a hamstring injury.

Hawthorne pulled his right hamstring in the first half of last Sunday’s game with the Kansas City Chiefs and was ruled out Friday by interim coach Aaron Kromer after missing practice for a third straight day.

Also out will be linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who would have probably taken Hawthorne’s spot in the starting lineup. Casillas suffered a neck injury against the Chiefs and did not participate in practice this week.

As of Friday, the Saints had only four healthy linebackers on the active roster — Curtis Lofton, Scott Shanle, Will Herring and Barrett Ruud. Ramon Humber is eligible to return after serving a three-game NFL suspension, however, and could be activated as late as Saturday.

Here is the final injury report for the game provided Friday by Kromer and Packers coach Mike McCarthy:

SAINTS

OUT: LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), LB Jonathan Casillas (neck), DE Turk McBride (ankle).

PACKERS

OUT: S Sean Richardson (hamstring).

QUESTIONABLE: CB Davon House (shoulder).

PROBABLE: T Bryan Bulaga (knee), WR Greg Jennings (groin), RB James Starks (toe), TE Tom Crabtree (shoulder), DE Jerel Worthy (shoulder), LB James Lattimore (ankle).

Richardson did not practice Friday, while House and Jennings were limited. All of the other players on the injury report had full participation in practice.

Saints’ Brees can tie Unitas’ NFL record against Packers

Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ pursuit of another longstanding NFL record will continue in historic Lambeau Field on Sunday.

Brees, who bettered Dan Marino’s 27-year-old NFL single-season record for passing yards last fall, can tie Johnny Unitas’ mark for consecutive games with a touchdown pass when the Saints face the Green Bay Packers.

Brees had three scoring passes in last week’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, extending a streak that started in 2009 to 46 games. Unitas threw at least one touchdown in 47 consecutive regular-season games from 1956-60.

“When you say that name Johnny Unitas, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, certainly his accomplishments speak for themselves,” Brees noted. “One of the pioneers of this game, to even be in the realm of a record that he’s held for a long time, it’s an honor. It’s humbling.

“Obviously, we’re not there yet, but I focus on my job. I focus on what I need to do to help our team win. Usually that stuff takes care of itself.”

“For him to be as close as he is to tying that record, and hopefully breaking that record, is a huge credit to the way he works in making plays out there each and every Sunday,” Saints wide receiver Lance Moore said.

BUSHROD EXCITED: Saints left tackle Jermon Bushrod won’t get to be there because the Saints will be in Green Bay, but his heart will be with the Towson Tigers when they play third-ranked LSU in Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.

Bushrod, a four-year starter for Towson, was an All-Atlantic 10 selection in 2006 before the Saints grabbed him in the fourth round of the 2007 draft.

“I’m excited for the opportunity for those guys to come down and play in front of this many people,” Bushrod said. “I think about when I played, the biggest place we went to was Delaware. It held like 20-something thousand, and I thought that was a big deal.

“I’ll be getting my updates,” he added. “I’m just excited about the guys’ opportunity to play in Death Valley because they’ve never experienced anything like that.”

TOWSON TIMES TWO: Suspended Saints assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt is also a proud Towson alum.

Vitt was a linebacker at Towson and helped the Tigers to their first undefeated season in 1974. He helped Towson finish as the NCAA Division III runner-up in 1976 in just the eighth year of the program’s existence.

That 1976 squad was honored as a Team of Distinction by the school’s Hall of Fame in 2009.

INJURY REPORT: There were no changes to the Saints’ injury report Thursday from the one interim coach Aaron Kromer issued Wednesday.

LBs David Hawthorne (hamstring) and Jonathan Casillas (neck) and DE Turk McBride (ankle) didn’t practice. Kromer said everyone else had full participation.

For the Packers, S Sean Richardson (hamstring) did not practice again, while WR Greg Jennings (groin), CB Davon House (shoulder) and DE Jerel Worthy (shoulder) were limited for a second straight day.

ANDERSEN ON LIST: Former Saints kicker Morten Andersen is among 13 first-year eligible modern-era candidates who have been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.

Andersen, who played for the Saints from 1982-94 and is the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, is one of 127 nominees from which the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee will choose 25 semifinalists.

From that list, 15 modern-era finalists will be chosen in early January and the Class of 2013 will be elected on Feb. 2 in New Orleans.

Also on the list are Saints wide receivers coach Henry Ellard, former Saints linebacker Sam Mills and former Southern University star Aeneas Williams, who was a finalist a year ago.

NO ESPN FOR RODGERS: Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who said he doesn’t watch a lot of TV, apparently isn’t a fan of ESPN when he does tune in.

When asked during a teleconference on Wednesday if he was tired of watching the controversial final play of Monday night’s game in Seattle, he said, “Yeah, I don’t really watch ESPN.”

Rodgers said he has lots of other things to keep him busy, like keeping up with the Milwaukee Brewers’ late-season pursuit of a playoff berth.

SLOW STARTS: Brees and Rodgers are both struggling early in the season after earning the NFL Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards, respectively, a year ago.

So far this season, however, two of the NFL’s premier quarterbacks have a combined passer rating of 81.6 after combining for a passer rating of 115.8 last season when they threw for 10,119 yards and 91 TDs.

Saints-Packers Scouting Report

WHEN: 3:25 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wis.

TV/RADIO: Fox/WTGE-FM (100.7)

RECORDS: Packers, 1-2; Saints: 0-3

LAST WEEK: Packers lost to the Seattle Seahawks (14-12), Saints lost to the Kansas City Chiefs (27-24, OT)

COACHES: Packers, Mike McCarthy, 7th season (69-38); Saints, Aaron Kromer, 1st season (0-3)

NFL RANKINGS

Offense (league rank in parentheses)

Points: Packers, 19.0 (t26); Saints, 27.7 (9)

Total yards: Packers, 304.3 (25); Saints, 377.3 (10)

Rushing: Packers, 78.3 (28); Saints, 92.7 (22)

Passing: Packers, 226.0 (20); Saints, 284.7 (5)

Defense (league rank in parentheses)

Points: Packers, 18.3 (t7); Saints, 34.0 (t30)

Total yards: Packers, 261.0 (3); Saints, 477.3 (32)

Rushing: Packers, 135.7 (26); Saints, 215.0 (32)

Passing: Packers, 125.3 (1); Saints, 262.3 (25)

KEY PLAYERS

Packers: QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Greg Jennings, TE Jermichael Finley, LB Clay Matthews, CB Charles Woodson, DT B.J. Raji.

Saints: QB Drew Brees, RB Pierre Thomas, TE Jimmy Graham, DE Will Smith, MLB Curtis Lofton, CB Jabari Greer.

PACKERS SCOUTING REPORT

Offense: Like the Saints, the Packers have had a hard time getting their potent offense going this season. They’re averaging just 304.3 yards a game — about 100 yards per game less than last season — and have five offensive touchdowns. Besides the yardage, another thing that sticks out is that Aaron Rodgers has already been sacked 16 times — including eight times in their last game at Seattle.

Defense: What the Packers lack on offense, they make up for on this side of the ball. After ranking near the bottom of the league last season in total yards allowed, they’re third after three games. They top the NFL in fewest passing yards allowed at 125.3 yards a game, which doesn’t bode well for Drew Brees and the Saints, and already have a dozen sacks.

Special teams: Kicker Mason Crosby is 5-for-5 in field goals and Tim Masthay is solid in averaging 46.7 gross yards and 42.4 net yards per punt. Randall Cobb, who returned a kickoff 108 yards for a TD against the Saints in the opener last season, has a 75-yard punt return for a score this season.

PACKERS FACTS

Thanks to a blown call at Seattle, the Packers are 1-2 for the first time since coach Mike McCarthy’s first season back in 2006. … McCarthy, the Saints’ offensive coordinator from 2000-04 under Jim Haslett, is 1-2 against his old team — getting his first win, 42-34, in the 2011 season opener in Lambeau Field. … Cornerback Tramon Williams, a former Assumption High School star, leads the Packers with two interceptions. … Former Tulane linebacker Dezman Moses earned a roster spot as an undrafted free agent this summer and has two tackles so far.

Compiled by Sheldon Mickles

Saints not worried about officials, only themselves

METAIRIE – Considering they’re 0-3 and have to go on the road this week to play the Green Bay Packers, the Saints had little reaction Wednesday to news that the NFL was close to reaching an agreement that would get the league’s locked-out officials back on the field.

“I’d love to have a lot of thoughts on that, but I have plenty of things to think about myself,” Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer said. “All we’re worried about right now is how we are getting better, and how we are going to win a game and go up to Green Bay and have our best performance.”

Quarterback Drew Brees, who was critical of the replacement officials during a an ESPN Radio interview Monday before the controversial ending to the game between the Packers and Seattle Seahawks, wasn’t too talkative either.

“I guess I heard the talks are ongoing,” he said. “It seems like things are close. … I think that’s great.”

PICKING UP THE PIECES: While the Saints were trying to find ways to rebound from an 0-3 start, the Packers got back to work after their disappointing loss to the Seahawks.

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the league’s reigning MVP, said he and his team were ready to move on and begin thinking about the Saints when they took the practice field Wednesday afternoon.

“You learn in this league that every loss is difficult,” Rodgers said. “It’s even more when it shouldn’t have been a loss. We’re moving forward and we know what kind of challenge the Saints pose this week.”

INJURY REPORT: Three Saints did not participate in Wednesday’s practice as LB David Hawthorne (hamstring), DE Turk McBride (ankle) and LB Jonathan Casillas (neck) were held out.

For the Packers, S Sean Richardson (hamstring) did not practice, while WR Greg Jennings (groin), CB Davon House (shoulder), LB Jamari Lattimore (ankle) and DE Jerel Worthy (shoulder) were limited.

CAMARILLO RELEASED: Wide receiver Greg Camarillo was released on Tuesday, presumably to open a roster spot for linebacker Ramon Humber although the Saints did not make an official announcement Wednesday.

Humber is eligible to return this week after being suspended by the NFL for the first three games of the season. The Saints have until Saturday to activate him in time for Sunday’s game.

NOT DEFENSIVE: After giving up 510 yards in their 27-24 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, the Saints have now allowed 1,432 yards in their first three games.

Since 1951, the only teams to allow more yardage in the first three outings of a season were the 1978 Baltimore Colts (1,452) and 2006 Houston Texans (1,451).

FAN WINS RING: Long-time Saints fan Chris David, a New Orleans native who now lives in Bellevue, Wash., is the winner of former Saints fullback Heath Evans’ Super Bowl ring raffle.

Proceeds from the raffle benefited the not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Celebration Hope Center in Metairie, which provides free, professional counseling to victims of childhood sexual abuse in the greater New Orleans area.

The 14-karat ring is worth an estimated $10,000.

BREES CHALLENGE: Brees announced Wednesday that his Brees Dream Foundation is teaming with Companies With a Mission to launch the 2012 Super Service Challenge that will award $1 million to New Orleans-area charities.

The program, which will run from Oct. 1 to Jan. 7, encourages local companies and organizations to build teams of volunteers that will identify deserving charities to work with and receive funds.

For more information, or to sign up, visit the website at http://www.superservicechallenge.com.

Saints, Packers struggling on offense through three games

Fans tuning in to Sunday’s game between the Saints and Green Bay Packers may not recognize the offenses of the two teams.

That’s because both offenses are scuffling and aren’t as productive as they have been for the last few seasons.

According to the latest NFL stats, the Saints rank 10th in total offense with 377.3 yards per game after setting a single-season league record with 7,474 yards a year ago.

On the other hand, the Packers rank 25th with 304.3 yards a game — about 100 yards fewer than when they finished the 2011 as the third-ranked offense in the NFL.

While the Saints are averaging 27.7 points a game to rank ninth through the first three weeks of the season, the Packers are tied for 19th with just 19.0 points per game after leading the league a year ago at 35.0 per game.

Here are the pertinent numbers for Sunday’s matchup in Lambeau Field (NFL rank in parentheses):

SAINTS

Offense: Total yards, 377.3 (10); rushing, 92.7 (22); passing, 284.7 (5); scoring, 27.7 (9).

Defense: Total yards, 477.3 (32); rushing, 215.0 (32); passing, 262.3 (25); scoring, 34.0 (t30).

PACKERS

Offense: Total yards, 304.3 (25); rushing, 78.3 (28); passing, 226.0 (20); scoring, 19.0 (t26).

Defense: Total yards, 261.0 (3); rushing, 135.7 (26); passing, 125.3 (1); scoring, 18.3 (t7)

Saints chat with Advocate beat writer Sheldon Mickles

Saints’ Brees has streak of 300-yard passing games snapped

NEW ORLEANS – With only 240 passing yards on Sunday in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, Saints quarterback Drew Brees had his NFL-record streak of 300-yard passing games snapped.

Brees, who set an NFL single-season record with 5,476 passing yards last season, went into the game with nine consecutive 300-yard passing games.

The last time he failed to reach the 300-yard mark was in a 27-16 win over the Tampa Bay Bucs in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 6, 2011.

TWO STREAKS CONTINUE: Because of the loss to the Chiefs, Brees couldn’t enjoy the fact that two other personal streaks were extended Sunday.

Brees’ 9-yard scoring pass to Lance Moore on their first possession of the game pushed his streak with at least one touchdown pass to 46 games in a row — one shy of tying Johnny Unitas’ all-time NFL record.

He also had 20 completions, pushing his NFL-record streak to 39 games.

GOING DEEP: Saints punter Thomas Morstead unleashed a 70-yard kick in the second quarter, a career-long for the four-year veteran. His previous long of 65 yards came last week at Carolina.

Morstead finished the game with six punts and averaged 55.8 yards per kick with a net average of 45.8 yards.

INACTIVES: The Saints inactives were DE Turk McBride (ankle), WR Joe Morgan, RB Chris Ivory, RB Travaris Cadet, CB Elbert Mack, DT Tyrunn Walker, T Bryce Harris.

Among the Chiefs inactives were three injured starters — FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), TE Kevin Boss (head) and NT Anthony Toribio (ankle).

INJURIES: Saints weakside linebacker David Hawthorne suffered a hamstring injury in the first half and did not return.

Chiefs center Rodney Hudson injured his right knee in the third quarter, wide receiver Dexter McCluster hurt his shoulder after catching a pass on the first play of the second half and running back Peyton Hillis had an ankle injury in the second half. None of them returned.

SHORT-HANDED: Because of the injury to Hudson, the Chiefs’ coaches had to shuffle their offensive line on the fly.

The Chiefs, who have only seven offensive linemen on their active roster, had no backup for Hudson. So left guard Ryan Lilja was moved over to take his place with backup guard Jeff Allen being inserted into Lilja’s spot.

HALL TRIBUTE: Saints owner Tom Benson and former running back Deuce McAllister, who were inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame on Friday, were honored at halftime.

Benson and McAllister were driven around the perimeter of the field in convertibles before the Ole Miss band provided a musical tribute to McAllister, who played for the Rebels from 1997-2000.

LAGNIAPPE: Garrett Hartley’s streak of 13 straight field goals made ended when he missed a 38-yarder in the second quarter. … Brees now has 3,688 career completions, which pushed him into eighth place all-time ahead of Fran Tarkenton. … Saints tight end Jimmy Graham had a 1-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter to extend his streak with one scoring catch to six straight regular-season games. … The Saints are now 9-12 all-time in regular-season overtime games. It was the first time they played under the NFL’s modified overtime rule when both teams get a possession unless the team that has the ball first scores a TD. … A pregame video montage was played in honor of Steve Sabol, the NFL Films president who died this week. The crowd then was asked to observe a moment of silence for Sabol.

Saints WR Colston, LB Casillas active for game with Chiefs

NEW ORLEANS – Saints wide receiver Marques Colston, who was limited in practice all week with a foot injury, is active for today’s game with the Kansas City Chiefs in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

Colston had issues with the foot leading up to the regular-season opener two weeks ago and the Saints decided to get him some rest during the week after being less than 100 percent in last week’s game at Carolina.

Colston, however, went through a pregame workout Sunday morning on the field and appeared to be healthy as he caught passes from assistant wide receivers coach Carter Sheridan.

Colston had been listed as questionable for the game on Friday along with linebacker Jonathan Casillas, who is also active despite a knee injury.

INACTIVES: Not suiting up for the Saints are DE Turk McBride (ankle), WR Joe Morgan, RB Chris Ivory, RB Travaris Cadet, CB Elbert Mack, DT Tyrunn Walker and T Bryce Harris.

The Chiefs’ inactives are FS Kendrick Lewis (shoulder), TE Kevin Boss (head), NT Anthony Toribio (ankle), CB Jacques Reeves (hamstring), WR Devon Wylie (hamstring), TE Jake O’Connell (knee) and QB Ricky Stanzi.

SERIES HISTORY: The Saints and Chiefs are meeting for the 10th time.

The Saints lead the series, 5-4, after winning the last two meetings — including a 30-20 victory at Arrowhead Stadium in 2008.

Chiefs secondary coach Emmitt Thomas has a strategy for Drew Brees

What’s the secret to stopping Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Kansas City secondary coach Emmitt Thomas has an idea.

Thomas told Randy Covitz of The Kansas City Star: “Pass rush … show different looks and be aggressive on the receiver and try to throw the timing off on the receiver,” Thomas said. “Brees has a great group of receivers, they’ve been together now for four or five years, so they’ve been doing a lot of things. Hopefully we get a good pass rush, and the corners and safeties play aggressive.

“In watching the tape, I know they’ve lost two, but that offense is not struggling.”

Chiefs notebook

By the way, in The Star’s NFL predictions story each of the paper’s four pickers predict the Saints to win Sunday’s game by at least two touchdowns. But before you get excited, three of the four pickers like the Seahawks to upset the Packers.