Taylor Stallworth’s family takes turns attending Saints games. This week, his mother, brother, and niece will be in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome when New Orleans hosts the Cleveland Browns on Sunday (Sept. 16) at noon, and they’ve “hit the jackpot.”
That’s because the undrafted rookie out of South Carolina is expected to play in his his first regular-season game.
“They didn’t come to any preseason games, so this is going to be the first time seeing me play in an NFL game,” Stallworth said. “So they are very excited.”
The Mobile, Alabama, native is excited as well.
“My dream is finally coming true,” he said.
Stallworth was inactive for the Saints’ opener, a 48-40 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But with Saints starting defensive tackle Tyler Davison ruled out of Sunday’s game, Stallworth could potentially play several snaps.
“It hurt me,” he said of watching last week’s game from the sideline. “I wanted to be out there. Seeing my boys out there playing, ballin’, giving their all and trying to get the win … I couldn’t do anything about it. All I could do was be the biggest cheerleader.”
Cheering played a part in bringing him to the sport. Stallworth’s first love was baseball, but he decided to try his hand at football in high school.
“I got jealous of the football players,” Stallworth said. “A lot of people were going to their games, and I’m over here playing baseball with like 15 people there. I was like, ‘I want that attention, so I’m gonna go out there and see what I got.
“It got me here.”
Now he’ll get a chance to have an impact, and that’s what he’s focused on.
“Even though this is my first NFL game in the regular season, I cannot let that get to my head,” he said. “So I just have to stay focused throughout the whole game.”
Stallworth is hoping that focus will help him make a big play for the Saints. In the preseason, Stallworth had a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
The former baseball player said getting a sack in his first regular-season game would be the equivalent of hitting a home run.
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