Saints rookie receiver Tre'Quan Smith is coming off the best game of his young NFL career.
Now that the Saints have placed fellow receiver Ted Ginn Jr. on injured reserve, Smith knows that even more will be expected of him.
"C.J. (receivers coach Curtis Johnson) has always been prepping me for this moment," Smith said. "He always tells me to be ready because you're coming up soon. I didn't know it was going to be this soon. Ted being down is obviously a big loss I have to step up. But honestly I'm ready for the opportunity."
Ginn was placed on injured reserve on Thursday after battling a knee injury. Ginn had arthoscopic surgery on the knee.
"He's just dealing with some inflammation," Payton said. "The scope was good. The rehab wil take place."
Payton said Ginn returning after the eight weeks he is required to be out for being placed on injured reserve is "realistic."
Ginn played in the Saints first four games and had 13 receptions for 135 yards.
"Ted brings us an element of speed to the game," said offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael. "Tre'Quan has shown us he can fill some of those roles."
The rookie from UCF has caught four passes for 129 yards and two touchdowns this season. Most of that came in the Saints' last game against the Washington Redskins, when he caught three passes for 111 yards and both of his touchdowns. That includes the record-setting 62-yard touchdown that made Drew Brees the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards.
"I feel like I did what I had to do and made great plays," Smith said. "That helps every time if you know your teammates are counting on you and you get an opportunity and you make plays. That just builds everybody else's confidence too."