Saints Training Camp Insider: July 26 will take you deep inside Saints training camp every day, with analysis of key team news, player competitions and injuries. Today we have updates on Deuce McAllister, Brian Young, Eric Johnson and more. Read more inside.

Deuce McAllister: Hearing the news that he had his knee drained of fluid on Saturday is the first discouraging news of McAllister's comeback from last year's injuries. McAllister missed Saturday's workouts, and it's pretty likely he'll miss at least one more before hitting the field. If the MRI results are worse than expected, McAllister could be off the field for a while. But it's difficult to speculate until we hear the results.

Head coach Sean Payton was asked if the Saints might make a move if McAllister is unable to come back from this. First, remember that the Saints have a pretty good stable of backs in Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas and Aaron Stecker, though none of them are the most physical backs on earth. Also keep in mind that the Raiders have told RB LaMont Jordan to stay away from camp, and Jordan is a back more in the McAllister mold. If McAllister struggles, the Saints will need a more physical counterpoint, and Jordan could be had for a late-round pick.

From my seat, I'm hoping McAllister makes it back fast. But a fluid build-up in a surgically repaired knee three days into camp isn't a good sign.

Brian Young: Young had fluid drained from his knee as well. This might be more troubling, since first-round pick Sedrick Ellis — and Young's chief competition — isn't in camp yet. The rookie could be getting plenty of reps. Instead he's absent.

If Young is out for a few days, who stands to benefit? First-year tackle Orien Harris could use the increased reps to make a case for a roster spot. He has plenty to overcome in Ellis and Young, along with vets Kendrick Clancy, Antwan Lake and Hollis Thomas. The Saints can't keep them all. Harris should use this opportunity to impress new line coach Ed Orgeron.

Eric Johnson: His release was a surprise and a shame. Johnson caught 48 passes a year ago and he has enough talent to give Jeremy Shockey a spell now and again. Payton blamed it on numbers and Johnson's injury. The Saints were carrying too much in the tight end department, but releasing someone like Ronnie Ghent might have made more sense. With Shockey's injury history, releasing Johnson might be something the Saints regret down the line.

Jonathan Vilma: Hearing that Vilma feels no ill effects from his injury last year is great news. He's right on track to being a starter on opening day. He seems to be grasping the defensive concepts with little problem.

Defensive backs: Someone asked Payton if the Saints might have too many defensive backs in camp. That's like asking a manager if he has too many pitchers. Payton made it clear the Saints have to improve their defense against the deep pass and he'll have plenty of options to choose from now that Porter is signed and in camp.

Matthew Postins is the publisher of

Saints Insider Top Stories