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Saints send rookie WR Nick Toon to injured reserve

The New Orleans Saints hoped rookie Nick Toon would give Drew Brees yet another toy to play with in their pass-happy attack. Those plans are on hold.

Toon was placed on injured reserve Friday, ending his rookie season, the Saints announced.

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Former New England  Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch was just one of Friday's many releases. Who else was cut? **More ...**

Running back Joe Banyard, safety Jose Gumbs and cornerback Marquis Johnson join the young receiver on IR.

Toon has shown flashes in the offseason, but he practiced Tuesday for the first time in weeks after missing the entire preseason with a foot injury. The Saints are taking the patient approach with Toon, who is being viewed as a future candidate to occupy the slot for Brees. Toon wasn't about to start with Marques Colston, Lance Moore and Devery Henderson in the mix, but he  should compete for the third or fourth spot in 2013.

The Saints also placed linebacker Ramon Humber and defensive end Will Smith on the reserve/suspended list. Smith faces a four-game suspension for his role in the team's "bounty" mess.

Others released Friday include defensive ends Braylon Broughton and Alex Daniels; linebacker Ezra Butler; quarterback Sean Canfield; tight end Michael Higgins, cornerback Nick Hixson and safety Jerico Nelson.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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