The decision to designate John Kuhn for activation off of injured reserve was done in part to get the veteran fullback practicing again.

New Orleans has 21 days to decide whether or not to put the Dover High School graduate on the active roster.

"We essentially get a 54th body," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "I know that he wants to play and wants to continue his career."

Kuhn, who has been working with the coaching and scouting staffs while injured in preparation for the eventual end of his career, wants to keep playing. He is 35 years old.

New Orleans already has Zach Line at fullback, but as the injuries at tight end have illustrated, the picture can change quickly. Kuhn could turn out to be a valuable addition come playoff time.

"He’s been hanging out with the coaching staff late nights, and we’re getting kind of tired of him really," Payton joked. "He can now go back down and start training. It will give him a chance to get back in the flow of things. You don’t know how things go."

The 6-foot, 250-pound Kuhn landed on injured reserve in September after suffering a biceps injury.

"I always felt like I was going to come back from it," Kuhn said. "It was just a matter of when. I try not to put a timetable on anything myself, but just work hard and when you do the time goes a little faster than you anticipate."

The soonest Kuhn could return to the active roster would be for the divisional round of the playoffs.

Each team can bring back two players from injured reserve during the season. The Saints used their other spot on cornerback Delvin Breaux, who ultimately did not return to active roster.

The Saints sit at 11-4 and have already clinched an NFC playoff berth.

Kuhn spent last season in New Orleans and had 18 carries for 37 yards and six catches for 56 yards. He had one carry for 2 yards at the time of his injury.