Saints slowly make way back to the field

By By Richard Dark / EMG staff writer
Oct. 24, 2003
METAIRIE, La. The signs of renewed health continued to show up at New Orleans Saints practice Wednesday, as linebacker Sedrick Hodge returned to practice for the first time since he fractured a kneecap during the Houston game in week two of the season.
Others who did not work included wide receiver Donte Stallworth (left thigh) and Michael Lewis (groin). Lewis came back from the groin injury to play against Atlanta, but the soreness increased, so he was held out. Wednesday's injury report listed him as probable.
Madison resident Grady Jackson also did not practice. He underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his pinkie finger.
Brooks is POW
Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his 352-yard, three-touchdown effort against Atlanta. He is currently ranked fourth in NFC passing and has the second-fewest interceptions (4) in the conference.
Horn still mum
True to his word, wide receiver Joe Horn did not talk to the media after practice. He told several print reporters one on one that, "It's nothing against you guys, I just won't be talking anymore. It's nothing that happened, nobody told me anything. It'll let me get dressed and get out of here earlier everyday."
He did not comment on coach Jim Haslett's assertion that he would be talking to the press by the end of the week.
Philadelphia's Fred McAfee was also a no-show for the post-practice media session, already gone by the time reporters entered.
Smith hopes to make difference
Meridian's Kenny Smith will be facing the Panthers for the first time this season. He was sidelined with a knee injury the first time the two teams played, a 19-13 loss three weeks ago in which Panthers' running back Stephen Davis rushed for 160 yards. "I really watched their offensive line closely on TV the first game to try and get a feel for some of their tendencies," he said. "We just have to do a better job of stopping the run this time. Hopefully, me being in there this time will make a difference." Panthers coach John Fox seems to think so, mentioning Smith during his opening statements of the Wednesday teleconference.