Drew Brees sits out scrimmage

Drew Brees

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Drew Brees was held out of the New Orleans Saints' scrimmage on Saturday because of an oblique strain he suffered during Friday's practice.

Coach Sean Payton described the injury as "day-to-day." The Saints are off on Sunday before returning to practice on Monday afternoon.

"In the a.m. practice yesterday, he strained his left oblique. So we'll take it day to day. But we didn't put him out there the day after," Payton said. "So that's gonna require just a little bit of rest. We'll see how it is coming back on Monday and kind of treat it day to day."

Saints right tackle Zach Strief pointed out that the timing was pretty good for Brees to "have something that's just kind of achy" because it's still early in training camp and the Saints know what Brees can do. Meanwhile, his absence allowed more snaps for backups Luke McCown, Ryan Griffin and Logan Kilgore.

But Strief said, "I know it's really hard for Drew to stand there and not be in pads and not be with his guys and not be running and not doing those things that he's used to doing."

"And it's the same for us. It's weird not having him there. We do a lot of hugging and make sure he's feeling OK. I've rubbed his obliques a few times, I'm sure that's helped," Strief said jokingly. "But no, look, we want him to be healthy. And you know the great thing about Drew, you know he's gonna be in the training room twice as much as anybody, and he's gonna get himself right, and he'll be good to go."

In other Saints injury news, Payton still declined to reveal any specific details on the injury that has kept veteran cornerback Champ Bailey absent for the past two days of practices.

"I don't think it's anything serious, and it's a matter of just making sure he's healthy," Payton said. "I do (expect him back soon), but I don't want to put a time on it."

Safety Jairus Byrd was dressed in pads and participated in individual warmups, but he didn't participate in the scrimmage. Payton said the team wants to be smart with working him back into the mix after he returned earlier in the week from back surgery.

Guard Ben Grubbs (undisclosed), receiver Kenny Stills (quad), defensive tackle John Jenkins (pectoral), cornerback Terrence Frederick (undisclosed), receiver Steve Hull (undisclosed) and offensive tackle Ty Nsekhe (undisclosed) also did not participate. Tight end Je'Ron Hamm was helped off the field by trainers after laying on the field briefly following a special teams collision.

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