Saints bracing for kicker suspension

Saints coach Sean Payton said he does not expect to have the services of kicker Garrett Hartley for the first four games of the season due to a failed drug test. Payton told the media assembled at Saints camp Sunday that Hartley used a banned substance, Adderall, in explaining why the club signed veteran free agent kicker John Carney this weekend.

According to quotes released by the team, Payton said the following after practice: “It wasn’t steroid related, but nonetheless it’s a banned substance that he used to stay awake while driving one night.” Should Carney thrive, Payton intimated the team could opt to stick with him.

The Saints have not moved to sign free agent linebackers Derrick Brooks or Derek Smith, who worked out last week. The club could still call on one of them for depth, but signing them was not considered a priority need this weekend, according to a league source.

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