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Saints’ Larry Warford plays full game despite back issue, praises Cameron Tom

The back issue that caused Larry Warford to miss one practice last week and be listed as questionable for Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens will be something that requires maintenance through the entire season, he said Monday (Oct. 22).

Nevertheless, the veteran offensive lineman hasn’t missed a single snap on offense this season for the New Orleans Saints.

Warford played all 71 snaps in the 24-23 comeback win against the Baltimore Ravens. His services were especially needed when Cameron Tom, Warford’s backup at right guard, replaced an injured Josh LeRibeus at left guard in the first half and played the rest of the game.

The Saints already were thin on the interior line with starting left guard Andrus Peat not playing because of a concussion.

“I had to take care of myself as best I could and get back on the field with those guys,” said Warford, who credited the athletic training staff for getting him well enough to play the full game. “I knew it was an important game. I really wanted to be on the field for this one.”

The line did enough to keep a Baltimore defense that led the league in sacks before Sunday from getting to Drew Brees more than the one time it did for a takedown. The Saints converted four times on fourth-and-short plays, frequently getting enough of a push for Brees to extend the ball forward before curling into a defensive position.

Without that line play, the tone-setting 20-play drive to start the game and the comeback from 17-7 down on the fourth quarter would have been made much more difficult.

Warford, a six-year veteran who has started all 57 games he’s played, praised the rookie Tom for how he handled his first extended NFL action. The 41 snaps on offense were the first of Tom’s career.

“To be called in at that time at a spot he hadn’t played yet, he did his job," Warford said. “He did excellent. ... It’s good to know that he can be one of those guys for this team, this year, that can fill in when he needs go.”

Sean Payton said after the game how the Saints needed to look closely at which linemen it had available, especially at the Nos. 6 and 7 spots behind the five that were in the starting lineup.

“Lineman seven for us tonight wasn’t on the roster four days ago,” Payton said in reference to Jay Bromley, who the team has released and signed twice since the final round of preseason cuts.

The Saints also were without veteran backup tackle Jermon Bushrod as he mourned the passing of his infant daughter,



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