Darren Sproles moves closer to a return


Saints running back Darren Sproles was expected by some to miss six games with a broken hand.  In the end, he may miss only two.

A day after returning to practice on a limited basis, Sproles fully participated in Thursday’s session.  We’re told he’s expected to participate fully in practice again on Friday, and that a decision on whether he’ll face the Raiders on Sunday will depend on how the hand responds after this week’s practice sessions.

The Saints have won four of five games, and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has won three of four all time in Oakland.  It’s his first trip back since leaving the Chargers after the 2005 season.

Right tackle Zach Streif missed practice with a lingering groin injury, as did defensive end Junior Galette (ankle) and cornerback Corey White (knee).  Receiver Courtney Robey (shoulder) fully participated.