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Drew Brees (oblique) participates in passing drills

Drew Brees took a step forward in his recovery from a minor oblique injury.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback participated in some individual passing drills with the quarterbacks and receivers Wednesday for the first time since the injury. However, it still appears likely that the Saints will keep Brees out of Friday's preseason tussle with the Tennessee Titans, according to ESPN.com's Mike Triplett.

Brees suffered the strained oblique on Aug. 1 and the Saints have held back their Pro Bowl signal-caller. The time off has cost Brees some time working with a revamped receiver corps, including dynamic rookie Brandin Cooks.

As we've mentioned since the minor tweak, these types of core injuries can be nagging and troublesome, especially for a quarterback's throwing torque, so getting Brees back fully healthy is worth more than any missed preseason snaps.

Wednesday's individual work is a noteworthy step in the Saints' plan to increase his workload on a day-to-day basis. We're not worried about Brees' readiness for the regular season, but his injury is something we'll continue to monitor until he's back fully healthy slinging passes.

Some other injury news we are following:

2. Philadelphia Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin left practice with a tweaked left hamstring. The wideout said his exit was merely precautionary. Before the injury, Maclin was torching New England Patriots corner Darrelle Revis in joint practice.

3. Tight end Jeff Cumberland left Jets practice Tuesday with an Achilles injury and missed Wednesday's session. Rex Ryan said the injury isn't serious and believes the tight end will play vs. the Bengals on Saturday.

4. San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio told reporters nose tackle Ian Williams has been cleared to practice and will test him in individual drills. Fangio added that cornerback Tramaine Brock continues to rehab from an ankle injury and isn't expected to play Sunday vs. the Denver Broncos.

5. LaMichael James took part in practice Wednesday, wearing an elbow brace during kick return drills.The Niners running back dislocated his elbow in training camp last month.

6. Jaguars linebacker Paul Posluszny had a minor bicep contusion and won't make the trip to Chicago for Thursday's preseason game. He's not expected to miss any practices following the contest, per the Florida Times-Union.

7. Brian Cushing made his return to the field since suffering a broken fibula and torn LCL that caused him to miss most of last season. Andre Johnson and Arian Foster, both suffering from hamstring injuries, also returned to practice.

8. Giants receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring) participated in 11-on-11 drills Wednesday, which was part of the team's progression in getting the rookie back into the offense. It remains unlikely he'll play this week against the Indianapolis Colts

9. Morris Claiborne had a brief scare when took a hit on his right shoulder during the Dallas Cowboys' joint practice with the Oakland Raiders and sat out of team drills, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Claiborne said afterwards he was fine and just landed on it hard. Dallas' defense can breath a sigh of relief, another injury to the defensive backfield would have been tough to swallow.

The latest Around The League Podcast highlights the winners and losers from the first week of preseason action.

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