Saints have designated seven players to return from injured reserve this week

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The Saints finally are starting to get healthy.

The Saints designated kicker Wil Lutz (core muscle) to return from injured reserve Monday. Linebacker Kwon Alexander (elbow), defensive end Marcus Davenport (shoulder) and receiver Tre'Quan Smith (hamstring) returned to practice Tuesday. Tight end Nick Vannett (knee), cornerback Ken Crawley (hamstring) and linebacker Chase Hansen (groin) had their 21-day window started Thursday.

Two players not on injured reserve, center Erik McCoy (calf) and left tackle Terron Armstead (elbow), also were back at practice Thursday with limited participation.

“This is a tough week because there’s so much going on. We have to see how it goes,” coach Sean Payton said Thursday, via Amie Just of The Times-Picayune. “Keeping track of it this week is challenging for me.”

The Saints had three players miss practice Thursday, with quarterback Taysom Hill (concussion), receiver Deonte Harris (hamstring) and running back Dwayne Washington (neck) sitting out.