Saints RB McAllister out for season with torn ACL

Sep 25, 2007 - 9:26 PM NEW ORLEANS (Ticker) -- New Orleans Saints running back Deuce McAllister has a torn left ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.

New Orleans' leading rusher last season, McAllister limped off the field after a one-yard reception with just under eight minutes left in the first half in Monday's 31-14 loss to Tennessee.

McAllister, 28, missed the final 11 games of the 2005 season after tearing his right ACL.

"You have a lot of things that are going through your mind," McAllister said. "Obviously, you're hoping and praying that it's not as bad as you might think. Even this morning going to get the MRI and looking at the X-rays last night, you're just hoping that it's not that bad.

"But anytime you've done it once before and now it's the other knee, you question whether you'll be the same, whether you'll ever be the back that you once were."

The 6-1, 232-pound back returned last season and rushed for 1,057 yards and 10 touchdowns while sharing time in the backfield with Reggie Bush.

The loss of McAllister could not come at a worse time for the struggling Saints (0-3), who are off to their worst start since 1997.

"You feel helpless because it's about making plays. Guys respect you when you can go out and make plays on the field," McAllister said. "That's what it's about not only on this team, but any team. ... It's about making plays. I can't do that right now."

The reigning NFC South Division champion, New Orleans has managed just 38 points over its first three games this season and has been outscored by an overall margin of 65 points - an average of nearly 22 per game.

With McAllister sidelined, the bulk of the carries likely will go to Reggie Bush, the second overall selection in the 2006 draft. The 22-year-old Bush has struggled this year, collecting just 150 total yards through the first three games while averaging just 2.8 yards per carry.

Bush, who scored a pair of short rushing touchdowns Monday, likely will be backed up by Aaron Stecker, who has 27 yards on five carries this season.

"This is an opportunity for guys to step up," McAllister said. "They all have to carry that load. Our offense will be fine; they'll come together. We're hurting as a team right now. Not only me personally, but we're hurting as a team.

"Guys just have to play better; we have to play better as a unit."

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