Brees says left knee is fine

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METAIRIE, LA. (AP) - Saints quarterback Drew Brees wore a brace on his left knee during practice on Wednesday and said he was still a little sore from a hit he took in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s overtime loss to Atlanta.

“It’s gotten a lot better since Monday,” Brees said. “My hope is and … I’m very confident that by game day it will be fine.”

Brees was not listed on the Saints’ injury report. Coach Sean Payton said there was no injury to report, just soreness that was not serious enough to limit the star quarterback in practice in any way.

“There’s no specific injury other than he has soreness,” Payton said. “He took all the (practice snaps). There’s not an injury to report. I was pleased with how he functioned. He functioned fine. It’s something that as the week goes on, I think he’ll have no problem with and he did a real good job in all the team stuff today.”

Brees said he was not sure whether he’d wear the brace during Sunday’s home game against winless Carolina.

“I’m kind of playing with it for stability and comfort,” Brees said. “More than likely, yes. We’ll see.”

Brees‘ knee started bothering him after he took a hit from Falcons defensive end John Abraham, who tackled Brees as the quarterback delivered a fourth down pass to Jeremy Shockey to extend a game-tying drive.

Brees continued to play in overtime and showed no sign of distress as he drove the Saints to the Atlanta 11-yard line for what looked to be a game-winning field goal try until Garrett Hartley hooked it wide left.

The Falcons wound up winning 27-24.

Saints safety Roman Harper (right hamstring) and running back Pierre Thomas (left ankle) also were hurt during that game and neither practiced on Wednesday. Thomas injured his ankle in the fourth quarter against the Falcons, but also returned to the game in overtime and had a 23-yard gain on a screen pass.

“Fortunately the soreness for him is not as significant as you might expect with some ankles,” Payton said. “It’s not a high ankle sprain. It’s not any of that, but there is swelling enough to where we held him out today.”

Harper was in and out of Sunday’s game, often getting his leg stretched on the sideline.

Payton did not expand on Harper’s injury and neither Harper nor Thomas were in the locker room when it was open to reporters on Wednesday.

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