Leonard is currently engaged in on-court work but hasn’t yet advanced far enough to receive clearance to return.

It’s hard to remember the time when the Saints seemed to have no clue of how to get all their running backs in the mix, or whether they should, or whether they were better off out in pass patterns or protection than actually running. That was back when Adrian Peterson was around, scowling and getting two or three touches a game.

That’s also when the Saints’ defense couldn’t stop anybody, when they gave up 1,025 combined yards to the Vikings and Patriots during their 0-2 start. The last two weeks, against the Buccaneers and Bills, they gave up 200 and 198, respectively, and they’ve given up just two touchdowns, last week’s as late and meaningless as this week’s.

Leonard, meanwhile, hasn’t played a game for the Spurs since Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, and he missed the rest of that series because of an ankle injury. Leonard came into training camp on San Antonio’s injured list but hasn’t yet been able to practice with the team.

Leonard needs to advance through a rehabilitation process that comprises several steps, including individual work followed by 2-on-2 and 3-on-3 drills, before he can get full clearance to return to the court. According to sources, Leonard is currently engaged in on-court work but hasn’t yet advanced far enough to receive clearance to return.

The club is reluctant to offer a specific timeline for Leonard’s return because there’s a level of unpredictability involved with rehabilitation from quadriceps tendinopathy, a source said.
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