MIAMI GARDENS, Fla . — No one was expecting New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston to see his first action of the preseason in the final exhibition at Sun Life Stadium on Thursday, but coach Sean Payton isn’t exactly the easiest person to predict.
Colston started against the Miami Dolphins despite sitting out the previous three preseason games after dealing with a foot problem. Colston had one reception for 18 yards, and starting quarterback Luke McCown targeted him a couple of times.
McCown completed four of his seven attempts for 44 yards before third quarterback Ryan Griffin took over late in the first quarter.
Other first-teamers who took the field at the beginning of the game were running backs Mark Ingram and Pierre Thomas as well as fullback Jed Collins. Ingram had seven carries for 22 yards in the first half, including an 8-yard touchdown on New Orleans’ first drive. He lost a fumble at his team’s 14 on the second drive.
Jenkins, Lindsey stand out
A quiet crowd barely filled a third of the stadium Thursday, but that didn’t lull Saints nose tackle John Jenkins or cornerback Korey Lindsey to sleep. Jenkins led the Saints with three tackles in the first quarter, and Lindsey — a Baton Rouge native who attended Capitol High and Southern University — picked off a pass that Dolphins quarterback Pat Devlin intended for wide receiver Brian Tyms at the Saints’ 1 in the second quarter.
The rest of the Saints didn’t start out so hot. They were penalized 10 times for 75 yards in the first half. Aside from Ingram’s turnover, Griffin fumbled a snap from his center, Tim Lelito, and lost it at the Saints’ 8.
Abdul-Quddus leaves early
Backup safety Isa Abdul-Quddus went to the locker room after hurting himself on Thomas Morstead’s opening kickoff, which was a touchback. Abdul-Quddus was running down the right side when a Dolphins blocker pushed him into another Miami player, and he appeared to twist his right ankle.
He limped away after athletic trainers helped him off the field.
The preseason finale is most important to players like Saints linebacker Ray Shipman, an undrafted rookie out of Central Florida fighting for a spot on the 53-man roster. He couldn’t have asked to play Thursday’s game against the Dolphins in more comfortable surroundings — Shipman grew up playing basketball and football in Miami Gardens, Fla., home to Sun Life Stadium.
Shipman missed much of training camp and the first two exhibitions with a hamstring injury. He recovered in time to play in Sunday’s 31-23 win at Houston, making five tackles.
Shipman had three solo tackles in the first half against Miami.
Meanwhile, there were a couple of players on the Dolphins with Louisiana connections. Dallas Thomas, who prepped at Scotlandville High in Baton Rouge before going to Tennessee (he was drafted in the third round this year), has gotten plenty of snaps for the Dolphins at left tackle.
Though he didn’t play, the Dolphins also count on wide receiver Mike Wallace, who was raised in the Cutoff section of Algiers in New Orleans and played at O. Perry Walker High School.
Wallace signed with Miami as a free agent in March after spending his first four seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers.