NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Running back Tim Hightower last played in the NFL in 2011. Nearly four years later, Hightower is trying to earn a roster spot with the Black-and-Gold.
"It does seem like it's been a while," Hightower said. "I think the last time I played a game I was 25 or 26 and I'm 29 now. My body is refreshed but just to get out here, you can do all the training you want, speed training but football, you can't simulate playing football."
Saints fans may remember Hightower as the man who scored a touchdown on the first offensive play of a 2010 playoff game against the Arizona Cardinals. In 2011, he was on pace to have a career season, before he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Then came a serious infection during the rehab process, delaying Hightower's comeback over the last few years. Now, Hightower is just trying to make an impact.
"He is a player that at one point we graded at an extremely high level," Coach Sean Payton said. "Before fans sat down at that Arizona divisional playoff game to eat their hotdogs, it was 7-0, and he scored a touchdown. He's someone that has been a real good running back and had a setback with an injury and so you know you are always looking to see how that has affected him, has as he recovered."
Payton added, "I think that Sunday night was one of those long meetings. We went through the 90 players on the roster, and you know I would say the early signs with him have been good. He's healthy, he's pretty instinctive, he's a smart player, and so that really is the gist of it. You are constantly paying attention to guys like that, that may be available that might be healthy."