Shockey Held Out in Order to be 100% by Week #1

The Times-Picayune reports for the second consecutive week, Saints HC Sean Payton spent the days leading up to the game saying it would finally be time for the first appearance of TE Jeremy Shockey (leg), who broke his leg last season with the New York Giants. But Shockey was not in Thursday's starting lineup, and he did not appear on the field. He was on the sideline, however, dressed in a uniform. His debut, presumably as the starter, will have to wait for Week 1 of the regular season, against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sept. 7. "I can't call it 100 percent yet, because if he was 100 percent I would have played him," Payton said. "But I think by Monday he's going to be 100 percent, and I feel like we're getting enough work from him during the work week with the quarterback." "I feel like I'm making progress. I'm getting to the point where I'm close. I didn't want to have a setback where I'm not 100 percent for the Tampa Bay game. I think it was a smart decision that we made tonight." Payton said he thought about playing Shockey against Cincinnati on Aug. 23 and the Dolphins, but decided against it both times. "I think by Monday he'll be 100 percent," Payton said. "It became a risk-reward kind of thing the last two weeks. It was a hard decision, because I wanted to see him get some live snaps. The good news is he's real close. We'll have him ready next week for Tampa Bay, and that's the plan."