Saints daily briefing: Monday (Aug. 18)

The Saints got a bit of a break with cloud cover for most of their practice Sunday afternoon, their first in sweltering Metairie after spending July 24 to Aug. 13 in the cool mountain temperatures of The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia.

But they may not be so lucky today. Practice is from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., when sunshine and temperatures in the upper 80s are in the forecast. The workout at the Saints’ facility (5800 Airline Drive) is free and open to the public as long as weather permits.

ABOUT YESTERDAY: The headline Sunday was Saints quarterback Drew Brees’ return to practice for the first time since straining his left oblique Aug. 1. Brees said the injury would’ve caused him to miss a regular-season game; but he and coach Sean Payton think he should be back for Saturday’s exhibition in Indianapolis.

Payton also said he hopes to get back other regulars such as Pro Bowl guards Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs and wide receiver Kenny Stills (out with a quad injury since July 25).

Meanwhile, All-Pro tight end Jimmy Graham spoke for the first time since drawing two unsportsmanlike penalties for dunking the ball over the crossbar following a pair of touchdown catches in the 31-24 preseason win against Tennessee on Friday night. Graham didn’t apologize but said he “would never do anything to hurt this team in the regular season.”

“Obviously, the game is bigger than any individual,” Graham said.

WHAT TO KEEP AN EYE ON TODAY: Payton said he expected safety Jairus Byrd to go through a full practice Monday for the first time since having back surgery in late May. Let’s see if it happens, as that would be a strong indication he’d be ready to go for the visit to Indianapolis this upcoming Saturday.

Byrd has been limited in practice and doing individual work since July 29, but he wasn’t present Sunday and has missed exhibitions at St. Louis on Aug. 8 and the one at home against Tennessee on Friday.

Byrd signed a six-year, $54 million contract in March to join New Orleans after spending the previous five seasons in Buffalo. His 22 interceptions since 2009 are the most among NFL safeties.

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