DENVER - AUGUST 16: Safety Ken Hamlin #26 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up prior to facing the Denver Broncos during preseason NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on August 16, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Cowboys 23-13. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The veteran safety said his ankle felt good through practice and, barring any unforeseeable setbacks, should be available for Saturday's game in New Orleans.
Replaced by Alan Ball for nearly a month, Hamlin said the time off couldn't have ended soon enough.
"It's tough for me, I'm a competitor, [I] want to be out there, want to be out there with my teammates," Hamlin said Wednesday. "So not being able to be out there was definitely tough. It was a challenge for me to be on the sidelines and do the small things I could do on the sidelines, do whatever possible."
Welcoming Hamlin back to the dizzying game-speed of the NFL will be the undefeated New Orleans Saints, owners of the best statistical offense in the league with three capable running backs, a slew of deadly wide receivers and an MVP-candidate under center. Oh yes, and they'll be playing at home, in the deafening Superdome.
Hamlin said he would be ready for the challenge.
"Any game I've ever come back with has been [against] a tough offense, some talented teams" Hamlin said. "This is just another talented team that we're going against...They go out there and make sure their on the same page, the receivers and the quarterback are on the same page, where [Brees] wants to put the ball and where they're catching the ball, so that's the rhythm that we have to break up a little bit."