Shockey could be ready to suit up vs. Panthers

Anyone looking for a sign that Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey could play in Sunday’s key divisional matchup versus the Carolina Panthers got one Thursday when New Orleans cut tight end Sean Ryan.

It’s hard to imagine the Saints would have parted ways with a tight end that was active as recently as last week unless they felt Shockey could return from his sports hernia. All along, the Saints coaches have been targeting the game against the Panthers as the day on which Shockey might be able to return.

While it is expected to be a game-time decision on Shockey, the Saints are encouraged that they will have running back Reggie Bush and wide receiver Marques Colston.

Bush sat out practice on Wednesday and Thursday with a swollen knee; it is the first time this season he has missed back-to-back practices. He is treating the knee with caution and some think it’s “no sure thing” Bush will play Sunday. The Saints believe he will. They have been resting him and trying to be smart with him.

Colston, nearly recovered from a thumb injury, also went through practice on a limited basis Thursday. Chances are he plays Sunday versus Carolina. But Colston also thought he would play last Sunday and was deactivated.

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