METAIRIE, La. (AP) -- Saints coach Sean Payton says outside linebacker Victor Butler won't be returning for the Saints' playoff push.
The chances of Butler returning appeared remote since he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and had surgery in June. Yet New Orleans kept the possibility of Butler's return alive by placing him on the club's physically-unable-to-perform list rather than on injured reserve. The window for Butler's return to the active roster closed this week.
''His rehab has gone extremely well. To his credit, he has worked very hard at it,'' Saints Coach Sean Payton said. ''Obviously with an ACL injury there's a lot that goes into that. We had that window where he could come out. You try to pay attention to that and overall, we just felt like it was best right now if we went that direction. Part of that is just having that confidence in making sure it's not too soon.''
Butler was acquired by the Saints as a free agent after starting his career in Dallas, where he played the past two seasons under current Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
Before his injury, Butler was working as a first-team outside linebacker.
''I worked my tail off in rehab but if you look at it, six months - that's a quick recovery time for an injury like this and I'm just glad that you have an organization that's smart and cares about the player and not just productivity and trying to push a guy out there whether he's out or not,'' Butler said.