Saints’ decision to release running back Tim Hightower came down to numbers game _lowres

New Orleans Saints’ Tim Hightower runs during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

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The roster roller coaster that Tim Hightower has been riding is part of a numbers game, rather than any recent injury.

Hightower, who has been tagged with the injury waiver throughout, was signed back to the Saints’ roster on Monday, then released again on Tuesday.

New Orleans needed to make room for Joe Morgan, who will be a part of the Saints’ game plan this week.

“Really, it just came down to a decision with another player,” Saints coach Sean Payton said Thursday. “Getting Joe to the roster. … right now, it was in our best interest to flip that around and sign the receiver.”

Hightower, who was in the coaches’ box on Sunday, remains in contact with New Orleans, indicated on Twitter on Tuesday that he’ll be back “soon. Real soon.”

The running back faces something of a numbers game with the Saints, who have two reliable options in Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson, and the team might get C.J. Spiller back soon.

“Tim and I have talked, shoot, almost every other day,” Payton said. “He’s a guy that I thought had a real good training camp. I think he’s still got more gas left in his tank.”