Dec 18, 2011; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore (16) catches a touchdown during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Injuries at linebacker last week forced the New Orleans Saints to make an odd transition of plugging safety Roman Harper in at the position to fill some holes. Now the team is running out of options again, but it’s the wide receiver position that is suffering now.
A big question mark popped up when the club announced this week that they had released cornerback Elbert Mack and re-signed wide receiver Greg Camarillo. The reason for the mystery as to why the Saints weren’t seeking a defensive player to help instead of offense slowly played out during the week.
Receiver Lance Moore missed the first practice of the week with a hamstring injury. Then the next day. And then again the following day. Finally interim head coach Aaron Kromer announced yesterday that Moore would not play against the San Diego Chargers this Sunday.
To add insult to injury, rookie running back Travaris Cadet who has been getting snaps at the wide receiver position was held out all week as well with a shoulder injury and he will not play either.
Tapped at the limit for pass-catchers, receiver Joe Morgan was added to the list the other day with a knee injury. There is still hope that he could play since Morgan is listed as questionable.
The loss of Moore is bad enough since he is a speedy player that quarterback Drew Brees loves to throw to in the slot. Yet if Morgan can’t go that will severely limit the options for the Saints offense.
The glaring problem for the Saints, but good news for the Chargers, is that the run game hasn’t produced itself yet and Kromer has shown that he is extremely dependant on calling pass plays.
The receivers who will be available if Morgan is ruled out will be: Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, Courtney Roby, and Camarillo. Another threat available to Brees would be tight end Jimmy Graham, but opposing teams have taken to doubling him to lessen his role in the passing game.
While tight ends David Thomas and Daniel Graham are there as well, they aren’t known for being a big contributor on moving the chains too much. Fullback Jed Collins is there to help as well, but has been tied up lately trying to keep Brees upright.
Running backs Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles do catch passes as well but are mainly screen passes that have been getting sniffed out by opposing defenses that are actually paying more attention to the Saints popular play especially when it comes to Sproles.
If this were the week for the Saints to establish the run game again, then this would be it. Although Kromer loves sticking with the arm of Brees, he needs to start trying the legs of his backfield.