Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 12/21/11
Before facing the top-rated offense and top-rated passing attack in the league, the Falcons are doing everything they can to get their secondary back up to full strength. Nickel back Kelvin Hayden has missed the last four games due to a gruesome dislocated toe, but he's angling to be on the Mercedes-Benz Superdome field on Monday night when the Falcons play the Saints. "I'm very close," Hayden said. "I'll run again (Tuesday) and see how that goes and hopefully I'll be ready. Thursday, for me personally, will be a big day because I haven't been out there in a while. The more practice reps I get, the better." Hayden, who signed with the Falcons on Aug. 30, had stabilized the nickel back position before suffering his injury against Tennessee on Nov. 20. "This is a big division game," Hayden said of contest against New Orleans. "We can only help ourselves with a win. With our entire arsenal out there, that will give us a better chance." Second-year man Dominique Franks played the nickel back role in Hayden's absence. In the Saints' 26-23 win in overtime on Nov. 13, Hayden finished with four tackles. He knows that it might be a tough assignment returning against the Saints and quarterback Drew Brees, who's on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing mark. While out rehabbing, Hayden prepared as if he were still playing. "When you are sitting around, you lose a little bit of conditioning, but mentally I've been into it," Hayden said. "That won't be a problem. The most important thing is just moving around." Brees needs 305 yards passing to break Marino's record that has stood for 27 years. "We want to go out there and play a complete game against him," Hayden said. "We don't want to be the team that he played against when he actually gets the record. Mainly, you want to come out with the win, but secondarily, we don't want the record broken on us."
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