Saints' Payton plans to become more involved in play-calling

New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has had to share play-calling duties with offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael ever since he injured his knee in a sideline collision Oct. 16.

The Times-Picayune reported Payton hopes to be off his crutches by Christmas and plans to slowly become more involved in calling the plays from the sideline.

"I think realistically it's something that I'll be back involved with more and more each week," Payton said. "Pete has done a great job, and progressively there will be times during the game where either I'm trying to help him or saying, 'Hey let's get to this.'

" ... I think that transition has gone pretty smooth, but right now I think the approach still with Pete is he goes in and he's prepared to call the offense. And the most important thing is that I'm not slowing down the process."

The Saints have averaged 37 points per game since Payton's injury, including 62- and 49-point explosions against the Indianapolis Colts and New York Giants, respectively.

The Saints host the Detroit Lions on Sunday night.

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