METAIRIE, La. -- Four-time Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn sat
out significant portions of the New Orleans Saints' practice
Tuesday, still bothered by the groin injury that caused him to miss
the last four games of the regular season.
Saints coach Sean Payton said Horn, who had a pair of big
touchdown catches in the victory over Philadelphia earlier this
season, is questionable for the rematch Saturday night in the
second round of the NFC playoffs.
"I was disappointed he wasn't able to practice," Payton said.
"I think he's doing everything he can to get ready."
The Saints worked out Monday and Horn participated then. Payton
said Horn has done "some things that are encouraging," since
returning to practice last Friday.
"Today there was some soreness that came back," Payton said.
"There's still enough soreness that keeps him from going full
Horn, who had 37 catches for 679 yards and four touchdowns
during the regular season, smiled when reminded that his best game
of the season came against the Eagles, when he had six catches for
110 yards and touchdowns of 14 and 48 yards.
"I'm trying to get on the football field, you know? That game
was the past," Horn said.
Horn remained adamant that he's doing everything he can to play.
"You win or you go home, and I don't want to have to sit on the
sideline and witness that," Horn said. "I want to play in that
football game and give everything I have. I want to be able to
play, to help this organization and this city win a football
Horn has been with the Saints since the 2000 season, the last
time they made the playoffs. The 11-year veteran has a strong bond
with fans and has been one of the faces of the Saints since he
arrived in New Orleans.
Payton, however, was determined not to let emotion be a factor
in whether he includes Horn among the 46 who dress for the game.
"You've got to separate that. When you're looking at 46 on a
roster and all of a sudden, that guy can't play and you were hoping
he could, all of a sudden now you're down to 45," Payton said.
"And so you had to put someone else inactive that may be able to
help on special teams or might be able to help in another area."
Several of Horn's teammates, however, seemed convinced the
veteran receiver was going to be ready to play.
"Just being around him, I know he's ready to get back,"
running back Reggie Bush said. "He's a playmaker. He's a fighter
and I know once he gets on that field it's going to be all out."