Fighting cancer, Saints tight end Foster Moreau could participate in voluntary offseason practices

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METAIRIE, La. (AP) — Newly signed Saints tight end Foster Moreau, who is being treated for cancer, “absolutely” could participate in upcoming voluntary offseason practices that begin later this month, coach Dennis Allen said Saturday.

“We don’t anticipate there’s going to be issues with him in terms of being able to participate and all the information that I have is that it’s very positive,” Allen said during a minicamp for rookies being held this weekend. “I really don’t anticipate that to be a challenge that we’re going to have to deal with."

Allen also spoke optimistically about the recoveries of veteran two-time All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas and rookie running back Kendre Miller, a third-round pick out of TCU in this spring's NFL Draft.

Miller, who missed the national championship game after spraining his knee during TCU's College Football Playoff semifinal victory over Michigan, was present for practice, wearing a No. 25 jersey and shorts, but no helmet.

While practice was open to media, Miller was limited to conditioning work on the side that consisted primarily of light, straight-line running.

"I don’t expect him to miss anything at training camp or anything like that,” Allen said.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Miller rushed for 1,399 yards for TCU last season, averaging 6.7 yards per carry. In three seasons, he posted career totals of 2,410 yards and 26 TDs rushing to go with 29 catches for 229 yards and one TD receiving.

Allen said Thomas, who when healthy is New Orleans' No. 1 receiver, had “hardware” removed from his surgically repaired foot in the past couple weeks. His injury kept him out of all but the first three games of the 2022 season. And that was after he missed more than half of the 2020 season and all of 2021 with a nagging ankle injury.

His last full season was 2019, when his 149 catches set an NFL record. In three games last season, he caught 16 passes for 171 yards and three TDs.

“We feel good about where he’s at in terms of his recovery,” Allen said. "When we get him out here, we expect that we’re going to get the player that we’ve had in the past.”

Rookie minicamp was scheduled to wrap up Sunday, and voluntary offseason practices for the entire team — known as offseason training activities — are slated to open May 23.

Moreau, a New Orleans native who played in college for LSU, played his first four NFL season with the Raiders and was considering signing with the Saints as a free agent when team doctors discovered abnormalities that led to a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Moreau, 26, announced in late March that he was stepping away from football to focus on his health, but with his prognosis looking increasingly positive, he agreed Wednesday to a three-year, $12 million contract with the Saints.

“Look, you get this negative information that obviously impacts a young man’s life,” Allen said. "Yet, the prognosis for recovery and the prognosis for a treatment plan has all been extremely positive. So, in that way, we feel good about it.”

The signing was a timely one for New Orleans, which traded tight end Adam Trautman to Denver during the draft.

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