Colston still questionable for this Sunday at Atlanta
November 23, 2006 8:17pm CST
Top Saints receiver and rookie sensation Marques Colston was not in pads during practice Wednesday, but was able to put weight on his sprained left ankle as he played catch with fellow receivers. "I'm making a little progress day by day," Colston said. "It's really too early to tell at this point. We still have a couple days to evaluate and see where this thing goes. I definitely feel a lot better. We've definitely made a lot of progress in the last couple days. Hopefully things will continue in that positive direction." Colston referred to the sprain, which occurred during the Saints' opening offensive series in their loss last Sunday to Cincinnati, as one of those "little things" a pro football player expects to deal with over the course of a season. He was jogging on Tuesday and Wednesday inside a water tank in the training room to minimize the pressure he placed on the injured ankle. He said those sessions went well, but at the same time he does not want to rush back, especially when quarterback Drew Brees demonstrated against the Bengals that he was capable of throwing for more than 500 yards without him in the lineup. "I just want to be back for the long run because this is definitely in my opinion a playoff caliber team," Colston said. "I would much rather come back and be ready for that than rush back for one game and be out for two more. I would rather sacrifice one game (this week) and be there for the playoff run." A seventh-round draft choice out of Division I-AA Hofstra, Colston had 54 catches for a league-leading 869 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns through the Saints' first nine games, after which he led the league in yards receiving. With no catches this past weekend, he fell to fifth. Payton said he did not want to rush a decision on whether Colston would play this weekend. If Colston does not play, Devery Henderson takes over Colston's routes at wide receiver and a new third receiver comes off the bench. Last weekend, it was Terrance Copper, who fumbled but also caught a touchdown pass. Speedy kick return specialist Michael Lewis also works out with the receivers, but Payton would not say whether Lewis would get a chance on gameday. Brees said he hoped to have Colston back. At the same time, he said his performance last Sunday proved the Saints' passing game can be effective with a variety of personnel. "When guys go down, the next guy's got to be able to step in and do the job," Brees said. "Devery showed he was up to the challenge this last week. It's good to know that at any time we can put whoever in there and get the job done. Obviously, we miss a guy like Marques because he brings a lot to the table. But I think you just have to expect that at some time during the season you're not going to have all the pieces you need. You just got to put it together and make it work."