Saints can’t finish in their season opener, fall 31-19 at Arizona _lowres

Associated Press photo by Rick Scuteri -- Saints free Safety Rafael Bush tries to haul down Cardinals tight end Darren Fells in the first half Sunday in Glendale, Ariz.

The New Orleans Saints placed veteran safety Rafael Bush on season-ending injured reserve, according to the NFL’s transactions wire Tuesday.

The loss of Bush, who reportedly tore a pectoral muscle against Arizona, hurts a safety position that has battled injuries throughout the past two seasons.

With safety Jairus Byrd out of action in the season opener — he will reportedly return in the next couple of weeks — Bush started at safety against the Cardinals, but he was injured on a blindside block during Darren Fells’ 48-yard gain in the second quarter.

Now that Bush is done for the season, the Saints re-signed veteran Kenny Phillips, who was cut last week.

New Orleans also made a surprising move at running back, terminating the contract of veteran Tim Hightower with an injury waiver designation one day after re-signing the veteran to the 53-man roster.

The Saints also took a hard look at the practice squad. Wide receiver R.J. Harris, offensive guard Sean Hickey and tight end Blake Annen were all terminated off the practice squad, and with Seantavius Jones and Toben Opurum clearing waivers for the moment, that leaves five open spots on the 10-man squad.

Both Jones and Opurum are expected to rejoin the practice squad.