Tight end Jeremy Shockey left during the first quarter of the Saints win over the Carolina Panthers after he was hit in the back while catching a touchdown pass from Drew Brees.
Shockey left the field under his own power but was later taken to a local hospital by ambulance for X-rays to determine the type and severity of the injury which turned out to be a severely bruised lower rib.
The injury came at a good time however as currently the Saints are on their bye-week and will not return to action until November 21st when they play host to the Seattle Seahawks.
Head coach Sean Payton confirmed during his Monday press conference that Shockey was okay and that he should be healed enough to play by week eleven.
Payton may be feeding the media a little misinformation though as the Saints worked out three free agent tight ends today visting with Leroy Banks, DajLeon Farr and Dustin Mitchell.
Their visits would indicate that the team feels Shockey may not actually be ready to go after all.
Banks ( 6-foot-3, 243 pounds) was signed by the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss but was released after his participation in the teams mini camp.
He was them claimed off waivers by the Kansas City Chiefs catching 2 passes for 18 yards in the preseason before his release prior the start of the regular season on September 3rd.
Farr (6-foot-5, 256 pounds) signed with San Diego as an undrafted free agent and was released on Aug. 3. A Houston native, he started his college career at Miami before transferring to Memphis.
Cut by the Chargers he was then signed by the Dallas Cowboys after a rash of injuries to their tight end core in the preseason but was ultimately released.
Mitchell (6-foot-5, 255 pounds) spent three years at Louisiana Tech catching 57 passes for 526 yards and three touchdowns. No NFL experience can be found.
Currently the Saints have two healthy tight ends behind Shockey, rookie Jimmy Graham and ex-Patriot David Thomas.
Graham was taken in the third round this year and has flashed tremendous potential catching his first TD pass last week against the Panthers while filling in for Shockey.
Thomas has proved a valuable commodity since being acquired in a trade last season with the Patriots but has struggled with dropped passes at times.
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