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franklin county times

McAllister considered day-to-day by Saints

By By Richard Dark / EMG sports writer
Nov. 19, 2002
NEW ORLEANS Former Ole Miss standout Deuce McAllister was the casualty of the weekend for the New Orleans Saints. The starting running back left Sunday's 24-17 loss to the division rival Atlanta Falcons in the third quarter with a high right ankle sprain.
He is considered day-to-day and currently questionable for this Sunday's game against Cleveland.
If the NFC's top rusher can't go, the Saints will turn to the duo of Curtis Keaton and James Fenderson. Other injuries, plus the arrest of offensive tackle Victor Riley for driving while intoxicated were just a couple of the problems coming out of the tough 24-13 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
Jim Haslett didnt have any emotional outbursts. He didn't allow himself to be second guessed. And despite some mild criticism of the play calling from both within the locker room and without, the coach was on an even keel. Even when the subject of the questionable officiating invariably arose.
And through that, the broken record that is this 2002 season continued to play. "I think the thing that hurt us the most is the fact we had too many penalties," Haslett told the media at his Monday press conference. "That and the turnovers." 16 total flags for 133 yards made their mark on the game, to be sure. Four more infractions were declined.
But despite players giving Michael Vick and the Falcons plenty of pregame bulletin board material, and the overall poor play throughout the initial three quarters, the Saints (7-3) still had a chance to win the game in the waning seconds. The setback knocked them out of a share of the division lead it held with Tampa Bay (8-2).
It was just one example of playoff contenders taking their licks this past week, in the parity-laden NFL.
Again, even keel.
Fortunately for the Saints, they won't have to worry about it happening this year unless they face the Falcons in the postseason. But for now, the Saints have to worry about the final half-dozen games. Four of those will be played at the Louisiana Superdome. But before that, things need to be addressed.
As for the McAllister injury, the consensus is it's still up in the air. How the team gameplans around it won't be decided until later in the week.

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