Saints still have much to settle going into third preseason game

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 22, 2008

Saints  Notes

Battle Of The Week:   Robert Meachem vs. Devery Henderson and Lance Moore for the third receiver spot—This one is still a competition even though Meachem had a spectacular exhibition opener against the Arizona Cardinals. Henderson, who missed that first game with a hamstring injury, returned this week and had a solid week of work. He was the third receiver on the field against the Houston Texans and caught two passes for 13 yards, while Moore had three receptions for 65 yards.

Other Battle Fronts:   Mark Simoneau vs. Jonathan Vilma for starting middle linebacker—Simoneau has held on to his job throughout training camp as Vilma was usually limited to one practice session a day because of his surgically-repaired right knee. But Simoneau was sidelined with a sore back late in the week and Vilma started the game with the Texans. Vilma was very active and had two tackles, although he always seemed to be around the ball in about two quarters of work.

Jason David vs. Randall Gay for starting right cornerback—Actually, if Mike McKenzie weren’t still coming back from knee surgery, this might not be much of a battle. David, who gave up numerous big plays a year ago, had a tough time in Saturday night’s contest against the Texans. He gave up four passes that resulted in first downs – one a touchdown – in the Texans’ first 14 plays. Gay, meanwhile, started on the left side in place of McKenzie.

Player Of The Week:   WR Lance Moore—The third-year pro had his moments last season but was inconsistent at times. Throughout training camp this summer, he’s shown that he’s going to battle to keep his roster spot. Against the Texans, he caught three passes for 65 yards, including a 42-yarder that set up a second-half touchdown.

Rookie Report:   DT Sedrick Ellis, the seventh pick of the draft, has taken over as a starter despite missing the first 12 training camp practices while negotiating his contract. He had one tackle and a quarterback hurry in Saturday’s loss to the Texans. … CB Tracy Porter (second round) made his debut against the Texans and had six tackles – five solo – and returned one punt. … DT DeMario Pressley (fifth round) is on injured reserve with a fractured foot that required surgery. … G Carl Nicks (fifth round) got some snaps with the second team against the Texans when Andy Alleman was yanked from the game after two false starts on one drive. … K Taylor Mehlhaff (sixth round) kicked one extra point and had two kickoffs to the Houston 5 as he continues to battle Martin Gramatica for the kicking job. … WR Adrian Arrington (seventh round) was impressive early in camp but has been sidelined since Aug. 8 with a turf toe injury.

Injury Report:   DT Hollis Thomas is expected to be out at least until mid-October after tearing his right triceps muscle in a practice with the Houston Texans. Thomas has surgery on Aug. 14.

 WR Adrian Arrington has a Grade II turf toe injury and hopes to return to practice soon and perhaps play in the preseason finale on Aug. 28.

MLB Mark Simoneau had some back soreness last week and is day-to-day.