METAIRIE — Even though he missed the final practice of the offseason Wednesday because of a hairline fracture to the thumb of his throwing hand, New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Chase Daniel should be ready for the start of training camp next month.
Saints acting coach Joe Vitt said Daniel, a four-year veteran, was injured in Monday’s organized team activity when his thumb accidentally struck a teammate’s helmet on his follow-through during a two-minute drill.
Daniel won’t be able to throw for 21/2 weeks, but that isn’t a problem because the Saints’ offseason program comes to a close Thursday with the last of their 10 allotted OTAs — a golf outing for players and coaches.
Vitt said Daniel, who ran the first-team offense in the absence of starter Drew Brees during their OTAs and last week’s full-squad minicamp, won’t have to undergo surgery and should be fully recovered when players report back for training camp on July 26.
Daniel watched Wednesday’s practice wearing a black lightweight splint on his right hand as 2010 seventh-round draft pick Sean Canfield and newcomer Luke McCown divided the snaps during a workout that lasted just more than an hour.
“The way I see it is that it’s more of a sprain than a hairline fracture,” Daniel said. “When we saw the X-rays, there was a little bitty line right there, but literally it feels like a jammed thumb right now.”
Daniel said the swelling has gone down and noted that he wanted to practice, but was told to take it easy after getting more reps than usual this spring because Brees is unsigned and didn’t participate in any offseason work.
Romeus out for season
The Saints suffered another blow Monday when defensive end Greg Romeus, a 2011 seventh-round draft pick who sat out last season while rehabbing from an ACL injury to his right knee, tore the ACL in his left knee in a noncontact drill.
Vitt said Romeus, who hurt his right knee in November 2010 during his senior season at Pitt, will have surgery and be sidelined 6-to-8 months.
A 6-foot-5, 267-pounder, Romeus was having a solid spring and was expected to be in the mix for a roster spot in the scheme run by new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
“This kid has really worked hard,” Vitt said in noting the injury was the team’s biggest setback this spring. “This kid has put in the time, the effort, and he’s got to go through the whole (rehab) process again. But we’re going to be there for him and support him.”
Also not practicing Wednesday were middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma and running back Mark Ingram, who both had knee surgery in the offseason, and are being brought back slowly.
Also sitting out were linebacker Jonathan Casillas (back), defensive tackle Akiem Hicks (hand/wrist) and running back Chris Ivory (hamstring).
Running back Darren Sproles was excused from practice.
Vitt said Vilma, who’s appealing a season-long suspension handed down for his role in the bounty system that the NFL said was run in the Saints locker room, probably won’t be ready for the start of training camp if his suspension is reduced.
Romeus is the only other player that won’t be a go for camp, Vitt said.
Job well done
Suspended coach Sean Payton has a tradition of rewarding his players at the end of the spring workouts with a team outing, which this year will be a golf scramble.
“We’re going to see how far some guys can drive a golf ball,” Vitt said. “We do it every year. It’s something Sean (Payton) did. We’ve done paintball and go-kart riding, so we’ll end with a little team scramble.”
Daniel was disappointed he won’t be able to play, but noted that he will be able to participate in the putting contest.
The Saints made two roster moves Wednesday, claiming rookie wide receiver Derek Moye off waivers from Miami and waiving wideout Malcolm Beyah.
A 6-5, 210-pounder, Moye signed with the Dolphins in May as an undrafted free agent. The former Penn State standout had 144 catches for 2,395 yards and 18 touchdowns in his four-year career with the Nittany Lions.
Camp with Patriots?
Vitt said he received a fax Wednesday from New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick about conducting some joint practices before their preseason game set for Thursday, Aug. 9, in Gillette Stadium.
While Vitt said a decision could come as soon as Thursday, it makes sense to practice with the Patriots. The Saints face the Arizona Cardinals in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Sunday, Aug. 5, and instead of returning home could fly straight over to Foxborough to work with the Pats in advance of their game.
“Listen, I wake up in the morning and come to work. We’ve been working late here the past four or five weeks. I go home and watch the History Channel, because I don’t watch ESPN anymore, and I go to bed. So I’m not getting much feedback.” — Vitt, on the feedback he’s getting so far from fans as Payton’s temporary replacement.