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Saints' Payton: S Kenny Vaccaro has broken ankle

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Saints' Payton: S Kenny Vaccaro has broken ankle

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New Orleans Saints' Kenny Vaccaro (32) is helped by trainers after being injured in the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- Saints coach Sean Payton says safety Kenny Vaccaro has a broken left ankle and is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday.

The injury means the Saints will be without one of their top defensive backs for Sunday's regular season finale in the Superdome against Tampa Bay - a game the Saints need to win to assure themselves of a playoff spot and to stay alive for NFC South Division title.

Vaccaro, New Orleans' first-round draft choice this year, was hurt in the first half of Sunday's 17-13 loss at Carolina. Roman Harper saw more playing time after the injury.

Vaccaro was third on the team in total tackles with 77. He had one interception and also was credited with a sack, a forced fumble and four tackles for losses.


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