Mark Simoneau: On the heels of learning Simoneau missed Wednesday's workouts with back stiffness, it's not entirely clear if he'll play on Saturday. Simoneau is in a contentious battle for playing time with Jonathan Vilma at MLB and Payton said the injury will not put Simoneau behind. "He has gotten a ton of work and this is the first practice that he's missed in ages," Payton said. "It's just an opportunity for the rest of those guys — not only Vilma — but Marvin Mitchell to get more reps. That's what happens when someone in the group isn't able to go."
Expect an update on Simoneau on Thursday or Friday. It doesn't sound like the injury is that serious, though.
Deuce McAllister: Payton said that he expects McAllister to play on Saturday against Houston. "Right now the plan is for him to play," Payton said. "We'll see where he's at. We want to make sure he gets enough carries either in this preseason game No. 2 or No. 3 before we move on." I'm not sure what Payton meant by "move on," but Deuce will likely be jacked up to play in front of the home crowd at the Superdome. I would expect him to receive 5-10 carries as the Saints seek to test his knee, but not overwork him.
Drew Brees: Payton confided that he wasn't worried about arm fatigue when it comes to his starter. "He's in pretty good shape and he's smart," Payton said of Brees. "When you look at the repetitions of practice, it's really everything leading up to the team drills that you have to monitor. But his arm is doing well and he's in real good shape. As we get through this week and get into the one-a-day schedule, I think that will naturally take place." Brees has never had arm fatigue issues, and chances are he'll play little in the remaining preseason games. It won't be an issue. He could probably play a season opener today.
Marques Colston and Devery Henderson: Expect both receivers to play against Houston. Colston and Henderson did not play last week due to injuries. "You're going to see a number of the guys that we didn't see in week one up for week two, barring any injury right now," Payton said. Good news for Brees, who could use the live game work with the receivers who would be his top two targets this season.
Tracy Porter: A holdout and an injury limited Porter's early training camp progress, but Payton expects the rookie to play on Saturday and is encouraged by the way he's catching up to the rest of the secondary as camp nears its conclusion. Porter received a full day of work on Tuesday. The Saints won't push Porter on Saturday, but they will throw him in there with the second-string defense and give him at least a quarter of playing time.
Matthew Postins is the editor and publisher of saintsinsider.com.