The Saints on Saturday announced several moves as they trimmed their active roster to the regular-season maximum of 53 players.
New Orleans decided to keep both Sharper and linebacker Clint Ingram on the physically unable to perform list, which prevents them from joining the active roster before Week 7 of the season. Both are recovering from microfracture surgeries on their left knees during the offseason and opened training camp on the PUP list, meaning they haven't been allowed to practice in weeks.
The decision means Sharper won't be able to suit up against his old friend, Brett Favre, and his previous team, the Minnesota Vikings, who visit the Louisiana Superdome for the NFL season opener Thursday night.
Sharper said his conditioning work has been going well and that he wanted to play against Minnesota, but that he also understood how starting the season on the PUP list could potentially help him in the long run.
"He was saying, 'At this point, you think about playing for championships.' And that's the reason I came back," Sharper said. "A lot of times, those championships, or setting yourself up for those championships, is done in November and December. So if you come back and you're strong for that time ... I think more people will remember that. I think that the team will remember that and that will be a better scenario."
Casillas, a second-year pro who joined that Saints last year as an undrafted free agent, appeared to have earned a starting spot when linebacker Scott Fujita left for the Cleveland Browns in free agency. The Saints had been starting Casillas at weakside linebacker after moving Scott Shanle, who held that spot last season, over to the strong side.
Now the Saints will have to figure out how to move on without Casillas, which could involve moving Shanle back to the weak side.
The final cuts also included: offensive linemen Terrence Metcalf, Brandon Carter, Na'Shan Goddard and Jermey Parnell; fullbacks Jason McKie and Zak Keasey; wide receiver Montez Billings; linebacker Harry Coleman; cornerback Reggie Jones; tight end Tyler Lorenzen; defensive linemen DeMario Pressley, Jay Ross and Al Woods; and safety Chip Vaughn.
Meanwhile, the moves announced Saturday also mean that two undrafted rookies out of Division II programs -- defensive end Junior Galette from Stillman and Chris Ivory from Tiffin -- both made the team. It also means the Saints are carrying just two quarterbacks on the active roster, Drew Brees and second-year pro Chase Daniel.
The Saints were off Saturday and return to practice Sunday afternoon to begin work on the game plan for Minnesota.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press