Photos: New Orleans Saints make comeback effort, but fall to 0-2 in 26-19 loss to Tampa Bay Buccaneers _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Saints quarterback Drew Brees slips away from Tampa Bay defensive end George Johnson on Sunday in the Mercedes-Benze Superdome. Brees, who injured his shoulder in the game, said there's a 'reasonable possibility' he could play Sunday at Carolina.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees said he believes there’s a “reasonable possibility” he could play against Carolina, according to an ESPN report Tuesday, after getting a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews.

Brees reportedly suffered a bruised rotator cuff on a second-quarter hit by Tampa Bay’s Jacquies Smith, and although he played the rest of the game, the injury affected him on downfield throws.

The shoulder has given Brees trouble before, particularly at the end of last season.

Saints coach Sean Payton told both local media and WWL’s Coaches Show on Monday that the team would know more about Brees’ condition Wednesday.

“A lot of it is going to be his ability to come back, and really feel like he has the strength he needs,” Payton said. “I’ve seen the reports, and I would be mindful of them, this early in the process.”

Flagging them down

Flags have been flying all over the NFL through the first two weeks of this season.

Dallas committed 18 penalties against Philadelphia last week, setting a new team record in the process. Buffalo committed 14 against New England.

The problem is that the Saints fit the trend. New Orleans committed 10 penalties for 115 yards against Tampa Bay; the Buccaneers were flagged 11 times for 90 yards.

Payton wants to see his team put less yellow on the field.

“I’ll say this, were not trending away. I haven’t seen the numbers yet from the other teams; (I’ve been) really focused on our team,” Payton said. “If I were looking at a number of calls saying, ‘I can’t believe they’re calling that,’ but I’m looking at calls that I understand what they’re seeing.”

New Orleans has committed 17 penalties in two games, tying the Saints for 22nd in the league through the first two weeks.

“The penalty number bothers me,” Payton said. “A penalty, to some degree, is a mental error. It is a decision to do something that, either by being out of position, or maybe it is pre-snap, that is troubling. Being offsides at home, those things we’ve got to clean up quickly.”

Rookie rush

When the Saints claimed Obum Gwacham off of waivers to begin the season, all the raw sixth-round pick wanted was a chance to get on the active roster early.

Gwacham got that opportunity Sunday.

Used as a pass rusher in New Orleans’ NASCAR package — Gwacham, Hau’oli Kikaha, Kasim Edebali and Cam Jordan as four speed rushers — the rookie defensive end from Oregon State got eight snaps on defense.

“I wanted to show the coaches that I was someone that could get after the quarterback,” Gwacham said. “Even during scout team, I tried to show quickness off the ball, and I tried to get to Brees as much as I could.”

Gwacham made an impact, recording one quarterback hurry and one quarterback hit, according to Pro Football Focus, to earn a 1.3 grade from the independent agency.

“We made it our No. 1 mission to try to affect Jameis, and I felt like we did a pretty good job of that,” Gwacham said. “We got him moving his feet out of the pocket, he didn’t look like he was comfortable at all.”


The New Orleans Saints have a practice squad spot open.

Tampa Bay signed tight end Cameron Brate off of the Saints’ practice squad Tuesday, bringing the former Harvard tight end back to the Buccaneers a week after releasing him. Tampa Bay needs Brate to fill in for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who injured his shoulder against New Orleans.