What looked like a serious and painful knee injury to Saints starting left tackle Jammal Brown this morning was later diagnosed as a bone bruise.
Team spokesman Doug Miller says everything came back structurally intact. Trainers carted Brown from the practice field when he crumpled to the ground with an apparent right knee injury. Teammates said he appeared to be in a lot of pain, but head coach Sean Payton said after the morning practice that trainers were optimistic the injury would not require surgery.
An MRI performed shortly after the incident did not reveal a serious injury.
Brown, who was drafted in the first round in 2005 out of Oklahoma, 13th overall, started at right tackle as a rookie and was moved to left tackle last season, when he was selected as a Pro Bowl starter. He's part of an offensive line that allowed 23 sacks in 2006, fourth lowest in the league.
It was not immediately clear how long Brown will be out of action. The Saints open their regular season September 6 at Indianapolis.
In the meantime, second-year player Zach Strief might fill in. Payton, however, was critical of Strief's performance Sunday in a preseason loss to Pittsburgh. Strief, drafted out of Northwestern as one of the Saints' two seventh-round picks, played in nine games last season and did not allow a sack.