New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton says Teddy Bridgewater will start New Orleans’ regular-season finale Sunday against Carolina.

The decision announced Friday afternoon allows starter Drew Brees to rest for playoffs with the Saints already having wrapped up the top seed in the NFC.

Bridgewater has appeared in just four games this season and has thrown only one pass, which was incomplete. Now the former first-round draft choice by the Vikings is set to assume his first prominent role in a regular-season game since 2015. A major knee injury has sidelined Bridgewater nearly all of the last two seasons.

Payton says Bridgewater has “looked sharp all week,” and has made some “pretty special” throws during practices this season.

Bears’ guard Long might return from IR

The Bears appear likely to get starting right guard Kyle Long back from injured reserve for Sunday’s game against the Vikings, although no decision has yet been made.

Long has been out since Oct. 28, when he suffered a tendon injury in his right foot against the New York Jets.

“I thought he’s had a good week of practice and, again, when you’re out that long and you come back, a lot of it is just getting your wind back, your conditioning back and then obviously trying to see exactly how you feel pain-wise and then health-wise as well,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said Friday. “But he’s done a good job.”

It appears the Bears will be without several other key players, however.

Safety Eddie Jackson (ankle), linebacker Aaron Lynch (elbow) and wide receiver Allen Robinson II (ribs) have not practiced the entire week and are all doubtful for Sunday’s game.

Defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (knee) is questionable after practicing all week on a limited basis.


• Packers receiver Davante Adams is questionable for Green Bay’s season finale against the Lions because of a knee injury. Other key players listed as questionable for Green Bay include cornerback Jaire Alexander (groin), left tackle David Bakhtiari (hip) and left guard Lane Taylor (knee). For the Lions, receiver Kenny Golladay is questionable because of a chest injury, while running back LeGarrette Blount is questionable because of a knee injury. Defensive tackle Damon Harrison is also questionable because of an ankle injury.

• The Broncos placed rookie rushing sensation Phillip Lindsay (wrist) on injured reserve along with receiver Andre Holmes (ankle).

• The Jaguars don’t expect running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) to play in the season finale at Houston.

• The Jets signed receiver Quincy Enunwa to a contract extension reportedly worth $36 million over four years, including $20 million in guarantees. Enunwa will sit out his third straight game Sunday because of an ankle injury, but has 38 catches for 449 yards and a touchdown.

• Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams is retiring after completing his 13th season.

• Rams running back Todd Gurley was ruled out of Los Angeles’ regular-season finale against San Francisco because of a knee injury.

• Steelers receiver Antonio Brown is uncertain to play in tin the Steelers’ must-win, regular-season finale at home against Cincinnati on Sunday because of a knee injury,