Saints RB Sproles sidelined with broken hand
After breaking Johnny Unitas’ NFL record for consecutive games with a touchdown pass last month, a streak that has now reached 50 games, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees continues to climb the league’s all-time charts in several passing categories.
Even though he threw for only 213 yards in a loss to the Denver Broncos last Sunday night, Brees moved up a spot on the league’s all-time lists in passing yards, touchdown passes and completions.
Brees’ passing total against the Broncos was enough to push him over the 43,000-yard mark (43,052) and into ninth place ahead of Dan Fouts (43,040).
Brees’ 300th and 301st TD passes put him in sixth place all-time after entering the game just one scoring pass behind John Elway and his 22 completions gave him 3,801 and got him into seventh past Vinny Testaverde (3,787).
Saints punter Thomas Morstead lost his league lead in gross average, but still tops the NFL in net average after posting averages of 51.6 and 46.3 yards, respectively, on a season-high eight punts against the Broncos.
Morstead led the league in both categories last week, but was edged in gross average, 51.4-51.3, this week by Miami Dolphins punter Brandon Fields.
Morstead’s net average of 45.2 for the season, however, leads Fields’ 43.4 by nearly two yards.
Only two Saints did not participate in Friday’s practice — RB Darren Sproles (hand) and WR Courtney Roby (shoulder) — and both were ruled out of Monday’s game with the Philadelphia Eagles by interim coach Joe Vitt.
Vitt said Sproles, who will have surgery on the hand, had no timetable for his return and said he will be re-evaluated next week.
For the Eagles, WR Mardy Gilyard (hamstring), G Danny Watkins (ankle) and S Nate Allen (hamstring) did not practice. Gilyard has already been ruled out of the game by coach Andy Reid.
Old teammates meet
Saints defensive line coach Bill Johnson and Eagles head strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin will likely spend a little time with each other during pregame warmups Monday night.
They go back 40 years to their days as teammates at Monroe-Neville High School from 1972-75. They also played together for two years at Northwestern State after Rubin, who was at LSU in 1976 and ’77, transferred to that school.
Rubin was LSU’s strength coach from 1984-85.
The Eagles have made themselves at home in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome over the years, going 7-3 in the regular season and 1-1 in the playoffs since the stadium opened in 1975.
They won in their last visit, 28-23, in 2007 after dropping a 27-24 decision to the Saints in the 2006 Divisional playoff game.