Getting to know Sterling Moore

Mike Reiss/ESPN Boston

Sterling Moore inside the Patriots' locker room on Wednesday.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- When it comes to the Patriots' safety position, James Ihedigbo looks at it simply.

This is the time for others to step up with Josh Barrett placed on season-ending injured reserve (calf), and he's confident that defensive back Sterling Moore -- promoted from the practice squad -- can be part of the solution.

"He's a tremendous athlete. You can put him at corner, put him at slot, put him at safety," Ihedigbo said. "He's very intelligent for a young player. We have confidence that he is going to step in and fill the role that we need."

Moore (5-10, 205) went undrafted this year out of SMU, signing with the Raiders and spending training camp with them. He landed on the Raiders' practice squad for a few weeks before joining the Patriots' practice squad Oct. 5. He was promoted for the team's 20-16 win over Dallas, playing solely on special teams, before returning to the practice squad.

Now he's promoted again, which he described as a "great feeling."

Moore played mostly cornerback at Louisiana Tech, but has been getting work at safety in practice. On Wednesday, the Patriots' depth at the position was further thinned when starter Patrick Chung wasn't present.

That creates more opportunity for Moore.

"If that's where I'm needed, that's where I'm needed. I'm not against playing any position," he said. "I'm just thankful for the opportunity, if it's at safety, corner or nickel."

On a different note, the 21-year-old Moore is hard to miss in the Patriots' locker room because of his unusual earrings that look like red spikes or golf tees.

"They're just different. I didn't want to be like everybody else," he explained. "It's not something you usually see and that's why I got them."