RBs Bush, Thomas doubtful for Saints' preseason finale vs. Dolphins

METAIRIE, La. -- Reggie Bush could miss his third consecutive preseason game Thursday night when the New Orleans Saints play host to the Miami Dolphins, and fellow running back Pierre Thomas is expected to sit out for the second straight contest.

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Bush, who hasn't played since straining his right calf during joint practices with the Houston Texans during training camp, has just three carries for 5 yards during the entire preseason -- all in the Aug. 14 opener.

Bush said Tuesday that he has felt healthy enough to play throughout camp, but he didn't feel the need to risk injury in preseason games. He added that he would like to play against Miami but didn't believe it was vital to get him ready for the Sept. 13 regular-season opener against the Detroit Lions at the Louisiana Superdome.

"I would like to get some live snaps, just to get back into the flow of football," Bush said. "All in all, I'll be fine. Whether I get ... snaps or not, I'll be ready to go next week."

Saints coach Sean Payton also hedged when asked about playing Bush against the Dolphins.

"I don't know. I'm hopeful and yet I want to be smart about it," Payton said. "It's progressing well with the rehab and everything, and what's most important is the opening game, yet I'd like to get him some work if it's possible."

Payton was more doubtful about Thomas, who sprained his right knee when the Saints played at Houston on Aug. 22.

"I don't think we're going to be able to play Pierre in this game," Payton said.

Bush and Thomas didn't practice Tuesday, the last full workout before the Saints play the Dolphins. Others who missed practice included wide receiver Adrian Arrington (hamstring), left tackle Jammal Brown (hernia) and safeties Chip Vaughn (left knee) andUsama Young (right shoulder).

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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