Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporte
METAIRIE, La. – Saints receivers Lance Moore did not practice for the second day in a row leaving many to wonder his availability for New Orleans’ season-opener on Thursday at Green Bay.
Kicker Garrett Hartley (right hip) also did not practice. Defensive tackle Tom Johnson (left calf) and receiver Adrian Arrington (left knee) were limited.
Among those wondering about Moore is the receiver himself.
“I think it has to do a lot with fatigue and not being on the practice field for almost two weeks,” Moore said. “Things are going to get a little bit sore when you get back out there. Hopefully I’ll be ready to go.”
Moore didn’t play in the final two preseason games for New Orleans after straining his groin when the Saints were practicing in Oxnard, Calif. Still, he caught four passes for 49 yards in the preseason.
Saints coach Sean Payton said there have been cases in the past when a player missed a full week of practice and still played in the game; without tipping his hand, Payton said Moore would be one of those players.
“From a mental standpoint, he would be the type of guy that could do that because he knows what we do cold,” Payton said.
Moore said only soreness would keep him off the field and that fatigue won’t be a factor when you consider the adrenaline that will be coursing the players’ bodies.
“If it hurts it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go,” Moore said.
In five years with the Saints, Moore has turned into quarterback Drew Brees’ most-trusted receiver. He’s sure-handed and among the best route-runners in the NFL, finding ways to get open when he shouldn’t necessarily be open.
He has 192 catches for 2,156 yards and 22 touchdowns with the Saints.
As for the current season, Moore is itching to play Thursday night more than anything.
“Missing preseason games is driving me nuts so you can imagine how I feel now about this game and whatever I can do to get out there,” Moore said. “This is why we play the game – for games like this and this environment, this crowd and that atmosphere up there. It’s going to be awesome.”