CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees got two key players back for Sunday's game against Carolina, while the Panthers were without two starting offensive linemen.
Receiver Marques Colston and tight end Jeremy Shockey were active for the Saints. Colston hadn't played since tearing ligaments in his left thumb in Week 1. Shockey had missed three games with a sports hernia.
The injuries didn't prevent Brees from entering the game as the NFL's leader in completions and yards passing.
The Panthers were without center Ryan Kalil and right tackle Jeff Otah, who are both nursing right ankle injuries. Geoff Hangartner started at center and Jeremy Bridges at right tackle.
Receiver D.J. Hackett (knee) missed his second straight game for Carolina, while Saints receiver David Patten (groin) sat out his fourth straight.