After reducing their roster to the regular-season limit of 53 players Saturday, the New Orleans Saints turned their attention back to game-week preparations for their opener on Thursday night against the Green Bay Packers.
After making 15 moves Friday, the Saints had to trim 10 more players from the roster to reach the 53-man limit by the 4 p.m. Saturday deadline. They accomplished that by terminating the contracts of two veterans - safety Chris Reis and linebacker Clint Ingram-and waiving eight others.
Waived were linebacker Nate Bussey, defensive tackle Swanson Miller, quarterback Sean Canfield, wide receiver Andy Tanner, cornerback Terrail Lambert, long snapper Kyle Nelson, center Cecil Newton, and tight end Michael Higgins.
Reis, a five-year veteran, was the biggest name among the team’s final cuts along with safety Pierson Prioleau, a 13-year veteran who was cut Friday. Both Reis, who missed the second half of the 2010 season with a shoulder injury, and Prioleau excelled on special teams with Prioleau serving as captain of that unit last season.
Ingram was signed by the Saints as an unrestricted free agent in 2009, but never put on a uniform as he was slow to recover from offseason knee surgery. He eventually was put on the physically unable to perform list before being waived in October.
A former standout with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Ingram was given another chance by the Saints last month after getting his knee back in shape over the spring and summer. But he lost significant practice time after suffering a hamstring injury that forced him to miss all four preseason games.
Bussey and Canfield were seventh-round draft picks of the Saints.
Bussey was the second of two seventh-round picks this season, while Canfield, who struggled while playing the entire game in a 32-9 setback to the Tennessee Titans in the preseason finale on Thursday night, was selected by the Saints in 2010.
Bussey and Canfield could be signed to the Saints’ eight-man practice squad Sunday if they clear waivers and choose to return to New Orleans. Canfield had several stints with the Saints practice squad a year ago.
Miller, Tanner and tight end Tyler Lorenzen, who was cut Friday, all were on the Saints practice squad in 2010 and are again practice-squad eligible.
The Saints also waived wide receiver Jarred Fayson, an undrafted free agent who had been put on injured reserve Tuesday because of a knee injury. The Saints put Fayson on IR to help the club reach the first mandatory roster reduction to 80 players.
After a day off Saturday, the Saints will return to the practice field Sunday for their first official practice for Thursday night’s game against the reigning Super Bowl champion Packers in Lambeau Field.