New Orleans coach Sean Payton returns to the sidelines when the Saints host the Atlanta Falcons in an important NFC South matchup Sunday in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

It will be Payton's first game back from his season-long suspension for his role in the Bounty Gate scandal.

"We've got to be smart in regards to the idea that one person is back and all of a sudden you're back to winning 11, 12, 13 games," Payton told USA TODAY earlier in the week. "We've got a lot of things we have to correct. We have to be better on defense and better running the football."

Chargers: Rookie linebacker Manti Te'o has been ruled out of Monday night's opener against Houston with what San Diego has called a sprained right foot.

Te'o hasn't practice since hurting his foot in the exhibition opener against Seattle on Aug. 8. He's had his foot in a walking boot almost constantly since then. Bront Bird is expected to start in Te'o's spot.

Bears: The amount of snaps middle linebacker D.J. Williams plays Sunday against Cincinnati will be determined as the game progresses, coach Marc Trestman told the Chicago Tribune.

Williams on Friday completed his first full week of practice since coming back from a calf injury he suffered July 31.

"He's in good condition; I don't know that he's in great condition," Trestman said.

Williams, the former De La Salle High-Concord star, indicated his conditioning is an ongoing process.


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"It went pretty well," he said of the week's practice. "I just have to get used to running around with pads on."

Jets: New York released Brady Quinn, leaving rookie starter Geno Smith and Matt Simms as the team's only healthy quarterbacks for Sunday's opener against Tampa Bay.

It's likely the Jets will re-sign Quinn next week, but this move prevents his salary from being guaranteed. Salaries for veterans become guaranteed Saturday at 1 p.m. PDT.

Quinn was signed Monday to provide a veteran presence at the position with Mark Sanchez sidelined with a shoulder injury.

  • Santonio Holmes could complete his comeback Sunday. Coach Rex Ryan remained optimistic the veteran wide receiver, listed as questionable for the opener, will make his return from a foot injury that sidelined him most of last year.

    "I'm hopeful he plays," Ryan said, "because he is a difference-maker."

    Holmes seriously injured his left foot last September, and needed two surgeries to repair it.

    Cowboys: For the first time in seven seasons, coach Jason Garrett won't call the offensive plays when Dallas plays host to the New York Giants on Sunday night. The headset has been passed to former Raiders coach Bill Callahan.

    Garrett applauds the offensive coordinator for how he interacts with players and integrates ideas.

    Quarterback Tony Romo calls the meetings he's had with Callahan in recent months great.

    "More than anything, I have a great rapport with Bill," Romo said.

    Said Callahan, "I really don't think anybody cares how you do it and what you're doing as long as you score."

    Patriots: New England re-signed running back-returner Leon Washington.

    A seven-year veteran, Washington shares the NFL record with Josh Cribbs with eight kickoff returns for touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2012.

    Washington was signed by the Patriots in March after he left Seattle.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.