Held out of end zone for first time under Sean Payton, Saints sputter to 24-6 loss at Houston _lowres

Associated Press photo by ERIC CHRISTIAN SMITH -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees

Drew Brees will not need offseason surgery on the torn plantar fascia in his right foot, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder, who is close to the Saints quarterback.

Brees reportedly flew to Charlotte, North Carolina, to meet with Robert Anderson, a renowned foot and ankle specialist who has also worked on Peyton Manning this season, to get the offseason plans.

The Saints quarterback was advised to rest 4 to 6 weeks before beginning to train for his 16th NFL season.

Brees did not miss a game because of the injury, and he completed 71.6 percent of his passes for 966 yards, seven touchdowns and no interceptions in the 10 quarters after suffering the injury.

He remains confident his body can respond well to treatment and heal properly, a belief supported by the way he handled both a bruised rotator cuff and the foot injury this season.

“As you get older, I think, one of the things that comes with the aging process is people say you’re not gonna recover as fast,” Brees said. “But I’ve said it many times, I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do now that I couldn’t do 10, 15 years ago, and that includes my recovery.”

Diamonds in the rough

The Saints signed defensive tackle Ashaad Mabry and tight end Chris Manhertz to reserve/future contracts, multiple sources told The Advocate.

Mabry, a rookie from UTSA who impressed in the preseason with 14 tackles and two tackles for loss, spent the entire season on the practice squad.

Now the rookie, part of an impressive undrafted defensive line class that produced starting defensive end Bobby Richardson and backups Tavaris Barnes and Kaleb Eulls, has locked in his future in New Orleans through the offseason.

A former basketball player now converted to a tight end, Manhertz spent the season on the Saints’ practice squad learning the nuances of the sport. He continued to show progress as the season carried on.

Manhertz and Mabry will now have another opportunity to crack the 53-man roster next season.

New Orleans signed seven members of its practice squad to reserve/future contracts this week. Safety Alden Darby, cornerback Brandon Dixon, offensive tackle Bryan Witzmann, wide receiver Reggie Bell and guard Cyril Lemon’s deals were reported by The Advocate on Monday. Wide receiver Shane Wynn, running back Bronson Hill and linebacker Jeff Luc failed to immediately earn the same type of deal despite spending time on the practice squad.