New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said wide receiver Joe Morgan and defensive end Kenyon Coleman are each probably out for the year with season-ending injuries.
Morgan hurt his left knee during Saturday's scrimmage and required repairs for a meniscus tear and a partial ACL tear, Payton said after Wednesday's practice. Coleman, who exited practice early on Tuesday, tore a pectoral muscle and is likely to undergo surgery on Thursday, Payton added.
Morgan, scheduled for surgery Wednesday, caught 10 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns in 2012, showing potential to be the Saints' long-ball threat at wideout after Devery Henderson left for the Washington Redskins. Coleman, a 12-year veteran signed as a free agent, had 15 combined tackles and a forced fumble in seven games with Dallas last year; he was projected to start for New Orleans at left end on defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s three-man front.
Earlier in training camp, Coleman was asked what he thought about the level of talent on the Saints. Coleman, in part, replied, “The ceiling is so high. ... This could be a special group.”
It appeared from drills on Wednesday that Jay Richardson and Akiem Hicks would be the two players the Saints will immediately turn to in light of the news about Coleman, who tore his left triceps in 2012.
In 14 games for the Saints last year, third-round draft choice Hicks had 20 combined tackles and forced a fumble. He is in his second year.
Richardson played with Oakland from 2007 to 2009 and was in Seattle for 2010. He hasn’t played in the NFL since he was in Seattle; his best year was in 2008, when he had 53 combined tackles and three sacks.
The Saints on Monday signed wide receiver Steve Breaston, who spent 2012 in Kansas City before being released in February. Breaston on Wednesday said he is confident he can handle an increased role in the Saints offense if Morgan's absence requires it.
"In this league, there are injuries," Breaston said. "It opens up a door for somebody else to step up."
Breaston’s best year was in 2008, when he was with the Arizona Cardinals. He had 77 receptions for 1,006 yards and three touchdowns and helped his team get to Super Bowl XLIII.
Breaston had seven catches for 74 yards and no touchdowns last year.
Payton said the remaining receivers at camp are “going to get plenty of work.”
“We’re going to have a chance to watch a lot of young guys get a lot of work,” Payton remarked. “I think that’s pretty obvious, so we’ll see how they do.”
Meanwhile, on his Twitter account Wednesday, Morgan said, “Surgery soon. Long road ahead starts now. Prayers up.”
-Sheldon Mickles contributed to this report.
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