|Saints WR Lance Moore missed his second straight day of practice. That's bad news for New Orleans, which is already short-handed at that position. (US Presswire)|
Saints WR Lance Moore missed his second consecutive practice with a right hamstring injury on Thursday, leaving the winless Saints shorthanded at wide receiver as they prepare for San Diego on Sunday.
Moore and Marques Colston have 19 catches apiece, and no other Saints wideout has more than six receptions.
“It's a case where guys have to step up and we have to adjust (to) what we're doing and fill guys in where we can,” Saints interim coach Aaron Kromer said. “It's hard to replace Lance Moore.”
Hawthorne hurt, too: For the second week in a row, the Saints could be without starting LB David Hawthorne, who also is nursing a right hamstring injury. In his absence, Will Herring started at weakside linebacker against Green Bay but played sparingly because New Orleans used its nickel and dime packages on almost every down.
Hawthorne's normal backup, Jonathan Casillas, missed the Green Bay game with a neck injury and was limited in practice on Thursday.
“When you look at our year, the first four games, that (the bunching of injuries) has happened in a lot of positions,” Kromer said. “It has happened all over the field. When you are in a professional sport, you're only keeping guys that you feel like can play and win for you, and the other guys have to step up.”
Not worried about Meachem: Wide receiver Robert Meachem played for the Saints the past four years before signing with the Chargers in the offseason.
Kromer and players dismissed the notion that Meachem could give his teammates much inside knowledge as they prepare for the Saints.
“I don't think he can give them much more than they already know,” safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “It's a new defense. He doesn't know anything about what we do as far as scheme. I'm pretty sure they've got scouts that handle everything else.”
Meachem has struggled in San Diego through four games, making six catches for 92 yards and zero touchdowns. He had 40 receptions and six TDs last year. His best season was 2009, when he caught 45 passes for 722 yards and nine scores.
Gates, who never played football at Kent State, became a star with the Chargers after joining the team as an undrafted free agent in 2003.
Graham, who played one year of football at Miami, was a third-round draft pick of the Saints in 2010.
“He (Gates) is one of the main reasons I got an opportunity to play in the NFL,” Graham said. “Without him, I wouldn't have even been given this opportunity or even been given the opportunity to play in college. He paved the way for me. I know that. It was a special moment last year playing with him and playing with (Tony) Gonzalez in the Pro Bowl. That was definitely a dream come true.”
This and that: RB Travaris Cadet (right shoulder), DE Turk McBride (sprained ankle) and DT Brodrick Bunkley (ill) joined Moore and Hawthorne on the no-practice list. Safety Roman Harper (right hip) was limited. … Special teams coach Greg McMahon said the Saints were prepared for the fake punt Green Bay attempted on fourth-and-inches from its 18 in the first half but didn't defend it well. The Packers converted the first down and turned it into a touchdown. … McMahon said he expects Darren Sproles to break through with a long punt return soon. Sproles is averaging 8.3 yards with a long of 16 yards in six attempts after averaging 10.1 yards with a 72-yard TD return a year ago.
Follow Saints reporter Guerry Smith on twitter @CBSSaints.