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Saints resting at least nine regulars in preseason opener

JACKSON, Miss. -- Receiver Marques Colston, linebacker Jonathan Vilma, safety Josh Bullocks and defensive tackle Brian Young will sit out New Orleans' preseason opener in Arizona, Saints head coach Sean Payton said Tuesday.

That brings the number of Saints regulars sitting out Thursday night's nationally televised game to nine.

Payton had said earlier that he might rest Colston, who has soreness in his left knee which has limited him during training camp. Payton said Colston could play with the pain but there was no need for him to push through it in an exhibition game.

The Saints also have an interest in seeing more from players competing for remaining receiving jobs, including 2007 first-round draft choice Robert Meachem, rookie Adrian Arrington, and veterans David Patten, Lance Moore and Terrance Copper.

Vilma, who missed much of last season because of a right knee injury that required reconstructive surgery, has been practicing off and on and was not expected to play in the opening preseason game.

Bullocks practiced on Tuesday, but has been resting intermittently during camp as he recovers from offseason arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.

Young has mild arthritis in his left knee, causing it to flare up when overworked. He has practiced some in training camp but has rested during the past few days.

On Monday, Payton said he would sit out several other projected regulars who have been limited in practice as they attempt to come back from injuries, including running back Deuce McAllister, tight end Jeremy Shockey and cornerback Mike McKenzie.

Rookie cornerback Tracy Porter and receiver Devery Henderson, who both recently went out with pulled hamstrings, also won't play.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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