On the eve of the Saints divisional play-off game against the Cardinals the team has announced they have re-signed veteran running back Deuce McAllister to the roster after placing defensive tackle Rodney Leisle on injured reserve with a knee injury.
Deuce, a fan favorite and the franchises all time leading rusher, was let go this off season after battling a rash of injuries which included two major knee surgeries in 2005 and 2007 to repair torn anterior cruciate ligaments in both knees.
After being released McAllister thought he still had a few good years left in him and that he would eventually be picked up by another team, unfortunately for Deuce the call never came and he was left to wonder if he would ever play football again.
McAllister stopped focusing on what team he may end up with and instead spent his time away from football rehabbing at a sports medicine institute run by renown orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Florida to go along with extensive self training in his native Jackson, Mississippi.
His return to New Orleans brings with it an inherit boost to moral for both fans and players alike, sorely needed on the heels of a three game losing streak headed into the play-offs against a stiff Cardinals team.
It couldn’t of happened at a better time.
Neither the Saints nor Coach Payton have given any indication of how or if McAllister will play against the Cardinals tomorrow, and with four other healthy running backs ahead of him (Thomas, Bush, Bell, Hamilton) on the depth chart his role becomes clouded.
The one injury exception being the Saints current top rusher Pierre Thomas who is nursing three broken ribs suffered during the week 16 lost to the Buccaneers, Thomas however has practiced in full and is expected to start Saturday.
But at this point it doesn’t even matter what that role is or if he even touches the football, his presence in a Saints uniform is good enough for the Who Dat Nation.
Since being drafted by the Saints in the first round of the 2001 draft McAllister has been a fan favorite and absolute stand up human being responsible for a number of charities in the New Orleans and Gulf Coast area.
If there was ever a player who deserved a second chance it’s him and his insertion into the lineup brings a magical aura to the Saints first play-off game in two years.
Tomorrow Deuce will lead the Saints onto the field at the Lousiana Superdome and you can bet that an uproar of “Deuce, Deuce, Deuce” will erupt from the seventy thousand plus salty Saints fans hungry for a win.
Does football get any better than that?
I think Deuce him self has summed it up best by saying, “I do know that we have some unfinished business that we started a few years ago and we want to finish the deal.”, I think we can all agree to that.
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