With Karen looming, Saints plan to leave town a day early

<:figure class="medium">New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, right, and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, center, watch from the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)Show caption <:figcaption id="main-photo-caption">New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, right, and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, center, watch from the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Haber)

To avoid travel problems from Tropical Storm Karen, coach Sean Payton said Thursday the New Orleans Saints will travel early to Chicago, where they play the Bears on Sunday

The Saints will leave town Friday evening and try to hold a walkthrough at a field near their hotel, Payton said. The team usually travels to away games on Saturday.

The last time the Saints left early for a regular-season game was when Hurricane Gustav struck Louisiana in 2008. They practiced all week in Indianapolis after their final exhibition that year and then flew home to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1.

“We’re able to handle this pretty smoothly ... just to be smart and not get caught up in what really sounds more like a wind issue potentially on Saturday,” Payton said.

Also,the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released QB Josh Freemon today. Read about it in The New Orleans Advocate...