Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins (99) warms up before the start of training camp practice Monday in White Sulphur Springs, WVa.

Advocate Staff Photo by PATRICK DENNIS

Sheldon Rankins is expected to be back in action today.

The defensive tackle is healthy and coach Sean Payton said he expects the rookie to return to practice from injured reserve today. He cannot, however, play in a game for two more weeks.

The Saints coach was pressed for further details on Rankins' progress, but did not want to go into further details.

"We're good right there," Payton said. "We're ahead of the game with an injury question."

Rankins, a first-round pick, suffered a broken fibula during training camp.

Under the new rules, a player does not have be designated to return at the time when he's placed on injured reserve, but each team can only bring one player back. However, the player has to spend six weeks on the shelf and then can practice for two weeks before returning.

Rankins, a first-round pick, was expected to start at defensive tackle. Since his injury, Nick Fairley has logged the majority of snaps at that position. Both players are expected to serve in the sub-rush once Rankins returns.

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