After a heartbreaking defeat to the Carolina Panthers, the New Orleans Saints had to return to the practice field this holiday week, reporting to the Saints practice facility on Christmas day. A few players couldn't participate in all of practice due to injuries, including All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees.

Brees has been sacked a career-high 36 times this season, including a season-high 6 times in the loss to Carolina.

Brees is suffering from an ailing knee, limiting him in Wednesday's practice. Also limited was safety Rafael Bush (ankle), wide receiver Marques Colston (back), guard Jahri Evans (knee), offensive tackle Terron Armstead (shoulder), linebacker Kevin Reddick (shoulder), and linebacker Keyunta Dawson (calf).

Running back Pierre Thomas (eye) and tight end Josh Hill (hamstring) were listed on the injury report, but practiced fully.

New Orleans (10-5) hosts the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-11) in the final game of the regular season this Sunday at 3:25. With a victory, the Saints secure a playoff spot. With a victory and a loss by Carolina to Atlanta, the Saints will win the NFC South and the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs. If the Bucs upset the Saints, New Orleans would need Arizona to lose to San Francisco in order to reach the playoffs. Arizona hosts San Francisco at 3:25 as well.

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