Saints' QB Drew Brees, Champ Bailey practice in pads Tuesday _lowres

photo by Advocate contributor Gary Estwick

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- It looks like Drew Brees and Champ Bailey are coming back.

Both players were in pads for Tuesday's practice for the first time becoming injured. Brees has been out since Aug. 1 with a left oblique strain. Bailey has been sidelined since July 31 with an undisclosed injury.

Brees has ramped up his level of activity in recent days. Prior to Friday's preseason game against the St. Louis Rams, he threw 15-yard passes to Jairus Byrd. During Monday's practice, wide receiver Kenny Stills, who is recovering from a quad injury, ran intermediate routes for Brees with Bailey in coverage.

It is not known if either player will take part in Friday's preseason game against the Tennessee Titans. Coach Sean Payton has said that he will not rush Brees back.

Brees was in padded pants and carried his shoulder pads to the field with him Tuesday morning. He worked with a medicine ball in the end zone during while his teammates stretched.

Brees put on his pads as players began to go through team drills..

Kicker Shayne Graham and cornerback Patrick Robinson were back in pads Tuesday. Guard Jahri Evans and linebacker David Hawthorne were among the notable players missing or sitting out Tuesday.