The clock may have started for New Orleans Saints cornerback Delvin Breaux's potential return.

For the first time this regular season, Breaux was observed Friday on the field participating in the stretching and conditioning portion of practice open to the media.

The Saints officially designated Breaux for return from injured reserve on Friday's NFL Transactions Report, and coach Sean Payton said after practice that he is encouraged with Breaux's progress.

"I know he's on schedule, and he's moving around and doing real well," Payton said. "So, I think nothing's changed.

"I think -- knock on wood -- we've been fortunate with these guys with significant injuries at this point, too, whether it's been Max (Unger) or Terron (Armstead). Delvin is on or ahead of schedule, and I think that it's not long here before he's doing everything."

For his part, Breaux took to Twitter to express his happiness on being on the practice field by tweeting, "Felt great to be out with the squad again... It's coming ... Can't wait to see them ball this week."