Saints: Don't blame Kenny Vaccaro

Updated: August 8, 2013, 10:25 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Morgan's season is over because of a knee injury suffered Saturday after a tackle by Kenny Vaccaro, but the team's players, following Morgan's lead, aren't blaming the aggressive rookie safety for the injury.

Vaccaro, the Saints' first-round draft choice, has made headlines in his first training camp with his hard hitting and recently said he wasn't going to change his style unless asked to do so by the Saints' coaches.

On Saturday, after Morgan suffered a torn meniscus and a partial ACL tear in the Saints' scrimmage, he defended Vaccaro.

On Wednesday, after Morgan was officially ruled out for the season by coach Sean Payton, the receiver's teammates agreed with his sentiment.

"Look, you love having that guy on your team," right tackle Zach Strief said of Vaccaro. "Do we feel like he's too physical sometimes in practice? Sure. But we feel the same way about some D-linemen and some linebackers, and they feel the same way about us.

[+] Enlarge Joe Morgan
AP Photo/Gerald HerbertJoe Morgan, who was the favorite to win the Saints' No. 3 receiver job, will miss the 2013 season.

"Kenny is who he is and I'm glad he's on the team, and I certainly wish that Joe was still with us, but it's part of the game. I would never watch a guy make a legitimate football play and have someone get hurt and say, 'It's your fault.'''

Receiver Marques Colston said Vaccaro is just doing his job and admires his effort.

"He's a guy that's out here, and he's doing what the coaches have asked him to do. Like I said, unfortunately that's kind of the nature of this game. But you can't really fault a guy for playing and practicing hard," he told reporters.

Morgan's injury was the latest setback in a tough year for the third-year receiver, who was arrested for drunken driving during the offseason.

He had seemed to be the leader in the competition for the No. 3 receiver spot. With Morgan out, the Saints likely will take long looks at veteran Steve Breaston, who signed this week, and second-year pro Nick Toon.

Information from ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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