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Lyons Yellin / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: lyellin@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

METAIRIE Rain Monday morning prompted the New Orleans Saints to head inside for a long two and half hour practice, during which several players, among them wide receiver Brandon Cooks, did not participate.

Head coach Sean Payton wasn't overly concerned about Cooks' absence, though, saying he missed the session due to a stomach virus.

'We just kept him from coming out,' he said. 'He had a little fever, but he should be back in the next day or so.'

Cooks, a rookie, has already proved to be a valuable addition to the offense, and in two preseason victories has six catches for 71 yards and a touchdown.

Cornerback Keenan Lewis, who left Friday's game early with an apparent injury, was a no-show Monday after participating fully in Sunday's afternoon session.

He's just working through his rehab, Payton said.

The coach said there was 'nothing new to report' on safety Jairus Byrd, who did not return to practice as Payton had indicated he would.

'We're just waiting on feedback and I expect him to be out (on the field) sooner than later, hopefully tomorrow,' Payton said.

The Saints' prized offseason acquisition, Byrd has yet to participate in live team drills since he was activated off of the physically unable to perform list on July 29. The former Buffalo Bills Pro Bowler had offseason back surgery after signing a six-year, $54 million deal with the Saints.

Cornerback Champ Bailey, meanwhile, was limited in his return to practice, participating in walk-throughs and individual drills before leaving the indoor facility, where he wasn't seen for the remainder of the day.

Cornerbacks Patrick Robinson, Terrence Frederick and Rod Sweeting were again spectators at practice, as were linebackers Victor Butler and Khairi Fortt.

Fullback Erik Lorig (leg) and Andy Tanner were both absent. Lorig hasn't been seen with the team since he was injured during the Black and Gold scrimmage on Aug. 2.

WILL HE PLAY?: Payton said he isn't ready to say whether wide receiver Kenny Stills will play in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Stills returned to live team drills on Sunday after missing all but the first few minutes of training camp at The Greenbrier with a quad injury.

'We'll have to see how tomorrow is and the next day I want to make sure he, much like Drew (Brees), is recovered,' Payton said. 'But our plan is to evaluate the week and discuss the reps later in the week and discuss the three phases.'

Stills said that while he feels good, he's not quite 100 percent yet.

'As long as I continue to improve this week, I plan on hopefully playing this weekend.'

PLAYER OF THE DAY: Wide receiver Brandon Coleman

The rookie undrafted free agent from Rutgers caught more than a few balls Monday. He also caught his coach's eye.

The 6-foot-6, 225-pounder hauled in five receptions during live team drills and 7-on-7s, including a high back shoulder throw from Ryan Griffin, in which he used his height advantage over cornerback Brian Dixon to snare.

'He caught a lot of balls and that's good to see,' Payton said. 'He's got good hands and he's continuing to get stronger. You see that in his lower body and he's not favoring his one knee.'

Coleman injured his knee during a spring practice at Rutgers last year, but ended up playing through it last season.

In two preseason games, Coleman has two receptions for 28 yards.

SCHEDULE: Saints camp continues at their Metairie facility on Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Weather permitting, the team will practice outdoors and it will be open to the public. On Wednesday, the team travels to the Northshore, where it will hold an open session at Mandeville High at 7 p.m. The Saints final practice of the week is on Thursday at 11 a.m in Metairie.

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