Moore, one of the most reliable offensive targets, caught four passes for 44 yards before injuring his hand in the third game of the season, a 31-7 victory over Arizona. His return comes none too soon, quarterback
“Lance is a guy who can play all over the field,” Brees said. “He’s probably the best overall route runner (on the team).
“His ability to set up certain routes, especially against man coverage, the way he can study guys and just know the certain techniques to play versus different corners, and his ability to get separation especially on the intermediate routes – and you talk about playing a team that’s a heavy man team, like Buffalo – that’s a great asset to have.”
Moore said he’s been eager to return to the lineup, and became especially so while watching his teammates play another team that was heavy on man-to-man coverage, New England.
“Once you miss so much time – and a game like New England, one of those man-to-man type games, and this week is looking like it’s going to be one of those games as well – you love that moment and being able to showcase your talents and getting open out there,” Moore said. “That’s what I love to do.
“It’s tough. At this point in my career I’ve missed a number of games and it just doesn’t seem to get easier. Each game kind of stings a little bit more but I’m trying to work my way back in there and hopefully get some time this week.”
His return might soften the absence of Graham if the tight end is a scratch. Graham leads the team in receptions (37), receiving yards (593) and touchdowns (six).
“We’re always of the philosophy, ‘Next Man Up,’ ” Brees said. “We’ve got guys that are always waiting in the wings for opportunities.
“Lance goes down and that’s just an opportunity for (second-year receiver)
“There are lots of situations that I could point to, or scenarios, where guys have stepped up and done a great job and that would be no different at the tight end position.”
Veteran tight end
“Everybody on this team is accountable,” Watson said. “If you’re on the 53(-man roster), you’re accountable. Whether that’s a small role or a large role or a role that can change on any given Sunday.
“In this game people go down all the time and you never know if they’ll be out a day or a week. No matter what it is, everybody has to be ready and available to come in when their number is called.”
That could be Sunday for Moore, who’s returning from an injury, and for Watson, whose role could increase.