NEW ORLEANS — After losing coach Sean Payton to a leg injury on their first offensive series of a 26-20 loss to the Tampa Bay Bucs on Oct. 16, the New Orleans Saints took another early hit in the rematch Sunday.

On the game’s second play, right cornerback Tracy Porter, a former Port Allen High School star, suffered a neck injury and was down on the turf for about 10 minutes after he brought Bucs wide receiver Mike Williams down while breaking up a pass from quarterback Josh Freeman.

Williams was running a slant route when he caught the ball, but quickly had his legs chopped out from under him by Porter.

Williams hit the ground hard with Porter, who landed face down on the turf.

Porter had movement in his extremities and waved to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium crowd when he was strapped to a board and taken from the field. He passed neurological tests performed at the stadium and was transported to a local hospital for observation.

After the Saints’ 27-16 win, Payton said he’ll have an update Monday.

“Certainly, our prayers are with him,” he said, “but it was good to get in there after that game and find out that he was doing pretty good.”

Still going

Saints quarterback Drew Brees hit on 27 of 36 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns, extending his streak with a scoring pass to 36 straight games.

That ties him for second place on the NFL’s all-time list with Brett Favre, who tossed a touchdown pass in 36 straight games, and puts him 11 behind Johnny Unitas, the record-holder with 47.

More Brees

With 27 completions Sunday, Brees moved into 10th place on the NFL’s all-time list with 3,414 — slipping past Hall of Famer Joe Montana at 3,409.

Brees’ two TDs gave him 256 for his career, breaking a tie with Dan Fouts (254) for 13th place. His second of the day put him in 12th place all-time, one ahead of Sonny Jurgensen (255).

Vilma out

Middle linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who missed practice all week with a lingering left knee injury, was among the Saints’ inactives Sunday.

Vilma, who was questionable, was a little bit of a surprise as he hasn’t practiced a lot since injuring his left knee in a Week 2 contest with the Chicago Bears but missed just one game the following week.

He had played in the last five games, however.


The Saints’ other inactives were running back Mark Ingram (heel), cornerback Johnny Patrick, fullback Korey Hall, defensive end Jeff Charleston, tackle Ray Willis and wide receiver Adrian Arrington.


Saints running back Pierre Thomas left briefly in the second half with a right hip injury, but returned. … Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy left with a biceps injury in the second quarter and did not return.


Former safety Sammy Knight, the newest member of the Saints Hall of Fame, rode around the field at halftime in a convertible and had a color portrait unveiled that will hang in the team’s museum. … Brees’ 20-yard scramble for a first down in the fourth quarter was his longest as a Saint. … The series between the Saints and Bucs is tied at 10-all since they joined the NFC South in 2002. … The Saints lost the coin toss and are 0-for-9 this season.

Sheldon Mickles and Brian Allee-Walsh contributed to this report.