NEW ORLEANS The New Orleans Saints will start veteran quarterback Luke McCown against the Tennessee Titans on Friday evening and franchise quarterback Drew Brees will not play, according to multiple sources.
Brees, who's been out with a strained oblique since Aug. 1., has been held out since.
Saints head coach Sean Payton said he has no interest in hastening Brees' return.
'He's progressing well,' Payton said. 'All of those things are good signs, and each day he does a little bit more with the training room and then (on the practice field). We just keep working on the rehab and making sure functionally that we aren't stressing it to where it sets him back.'
Brees is smart, he added, 'and he understands that the type of strain he has is something that can reoccur if you are not careful if you don't let it heal properly.'
On Tuesday, Brees put his pads back on for the first time and threw with injured wide receiver Kenny Stills (quad). Then, on Wednesday, Brees participated in individual drills with the quarterbacks before becoming a spectator for the remainder of the final morning practice at the Greenbrier.
McCown, meanwhile, started last week against the St. Louis Rams, going 7 of 10 for 49 yards and an interception.
Like last week, former Tulane quarterback Ryan Griffin will backup McCown. Griffin, who was more effective against St. Louis, was 16 of 23 for 179 yards and a touchdown.
Though McCown started a week ago, Griffin played more than twice as many snaps (39-17).