Nick Underhill analysis: Marques Colston's light burned bright in dominant decade with Saints, but time to move on _lowres

Advocate file photo by MATTHEW HINTON -- NFL Network reports that Saints wide receiver Marques Colston has a separated shoulder. He had three catches for 36 yards in Sunday's 39-17 loss to the Eagles, giving him 18 receptions for 200 yards this season.

Wide receiver Marques Colston, who was in obvious pain after being tackled in the third quarter of the New Orleans Saints’ 39-17 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday, has a separated shoulder, the NFL Network reported Monday.

Saints coach Sean Payton deferred commenting on Colston’s status Monday afternoon until the team released its first injury report before its Thursday night game against Atlanta in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. When the report was published later in the day, Colston was one of six players projected as out for Monday along with left tackle Terron Armstead (knee), left guard Tim Lelito (back), defensive end Bobby Richardson (hip), cornerback Damian Swann (concussion) and punter Thomas Morstead (quadriceps).

“We will see how things go,” Payton said. “(Tuesday) we will get out there and move around a little bit and have a chance to do that as well Wednesday.”

Colston, whom the Saints drafted in the seventh round in 2006, has 684 catches for 9,439 yards and 68 touchdowns — franchise records in all three categories.

He made three receptions for 36 yards against the Eagles, giving him 18 catches for 200 yards for the year, the fourth-highest total on the team. He remained in the game for a while after getting hurt before leaving in the fourth quarter.

Brandin Cooks (25 catches, 322 yards) and Willie Snead (22 catches, 381 yards) are the only other Saints wide receivers with double-digit receptions. Brandon Coleman is next with nine grabs for 113 yards.

“Brandon (Coleman) is a guy we want to see get going,” Payton said. “He was able to make a big play for us last week late in the game. So we will see how this practice week goes.”

Keeping the faith

Four games behind undefeated NFC South front-runners Atlanta and Carolina in the loss column after only five weeks, the New Orleans Saints have plenty of reasons to panic.

But that’s exactly what they are not doing, according to defensive end Cameron Jordan and running back Mark Ingram, who both talked on a conference call Monday.

“I’m not happy with our start, of course — nobody is — but I’m not frustrated by any means,” Ingram said. “I still have confidence in our team and confidence in our players. I feel like we are going to stick together, and we’re all going to try to push our way through this.”

Philadelphia (2-3) outscored New Orleans (1-4) 29-0 in a long stretch of the second half Sunday, winning 39-17 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles outgained the Saints 519-368 and won the turnover battle 4-2.

Still, Jordan said he felt better about the Saints than in some other years. New Orleans also started 1-4 in 2012, when Payton was suspended for Bountygate, and was 2-4 after six games a year ago.

“It’s a completely different feel,” Jordan said. “There are a lot of young guys with a lot of hope. There are a lot of older guys that see that there are bright spots, and that there are just plays that we didn’t capitalize on. Guys aren’t harping and negative right now. We’re playing with passion, and we’re playing our butts off.

“At the same time, we’re not capitalizing on plays that we should. We’re missing some minor details, and that is something that you can’t be proud of. Going forward, we have the chance to rectify a lot of this.”

Run woes

Philadelphia held New Orleans to 96 rushing yards, continuing a season-long trend for the Saints.

Their season high on the ground was 104 yards against Tampa Bay. They rank in the bottom five of the NFL in rushing yards per game (85.4) and average per carry (3.6).

Ingram, who has 261 yards on 68 attempts), felt the rushing issues were a symptom rather than a cause of the Saints’ problems.

“We all just need to improve, every single one of us,” he said. “It’s the whole entire team, the offense, everybody. We all have to have a hand in it, and we all have to improve and get better at it.”

Sackless again

The closest the Saints came to a sack against the Eagles was a Jordan takedown of quarterback Sam Bradford that was nullified by a penalty on teammate Brandon Browner.

New Orleans finished with zero sacks for the second time in three road games, with a lone sack of Carolina’s Cam Newton in Week 3 its only one away from home. Bradford, who had been sacked seven times in his four five games, attempted 45 passes and faced little pressure.

“I have to lead our D-line better,” said Jordan, who has one sack through five games. “We’re getting pressure on the quarterback, but we’re not getting enough pressure on the quarterback. I have fallen off a couple of sacks. I have also been evaded a few times. That is personally frustrating.”