New Orleans Saints Afternoon Practice Report
July 26, 2008
After sitting out this morning's practice after having his left knee drained of fluid, RB Deuce McAllister returned to the practice field this afternoon and not only participated fully in the session, but he turned in one of the plays of the day.
McAllister said the MRI he had taken showed no structural damage in the joint and then backed it up by taking a handoff, spotted a blitzing outside linebacker, made a deft move to his right, in which he planted hard on his left leg, and eluded the would be tackler and bolted some 20 yards off the right side.
McAllister said after practice that since this is the second time in his career he has gone through a similar knee injury, he understands that there will be days when the knee is tender and has swelling and that he knows he has to be smart and attentive to the injury in order to get back to 100% health.
Play of the Day: RB Reggie Bush and QB Mark Brunell hooked up for a 90-yard touchdown completion. Bush came roaring out of the backfield, threw a quick move on a linebacker and Brunell spotted him down the numbers and launched a perfect spiral that Bush hauled in stride and coasted into the end zone, right in front of the 2,000+ plus fans in attendance, who roared with approval.
Sunday's Schedule: The team will conduct a walk-through practice from 8:50-10:30 am on Sunday morning and then will return for a normal afternoon practice in pads from 3:40-6:00.
The following is a transcript of Deuce McAllister's meeting with the media following practice:
How does the knee feel?
"Unfortunately, I know what the ACL feels like if it's going. Probably the biggest concern this time was the swelling. Throughout the whole process I hadn't had a lot of swelling. That's really why we were precautionary with the MRI this morning, just to find out exactly what it was. Everything came back fine and I'm pretty much on schedule; we just flip-flopped the practices from usually in the morning to this afternoon."
How soon did you know you hadn't done any major damage?
"Pretty much when I was able to finish, because I actually did it early Friday morning as far as twisting the knee, but I was able to finish the practice. Knowing that, it just got a little stiff and a little sore but other than that I knew it couldn't have been anything too serious. Anytime that ACL goes, you're not going to be able to finish."
Was there any thought of holding you out this afternoon at all?
"Doc told me to be careful, but I just wanted to go out there and compete with the guys. I just wanted to keep it warm as possible – we switched the braces that I normally would wear and I just tried to go make plays."
You've said that you'll have to deal with the pain that comes along with the operations you've had. How is that going?
"That's a part of it because you're talking about a major injury. You're talking about taking a piece that was really not there and putting another in there. That's just going to be a part of it; there will be good days and bad days as I've learned. One thing about it is that you can be precautionary now, but during the season you have to make plays and step up."
Have you changed the way you practice now?
"It's pretty much day-to-day. I always want to at least get one in a day, try to get one practice in a day. If it's too stiff or too sore in the morning when I normally would practice, then we'll try to get it warm enough for that afternoon practice. If I can't go one day, then it's really not a big deal now. But later on as the season gets closer, then we might have some worry. But I just want to be able to go out there and contribute."
Did they put a new limit on your reps this afternoon?
"No, it was normal reps. It was just me and Reggie and maybe Stecker or Pierre splitting the '1s' reps."
Do you view this as a setback at all?
"No, it's not necessarily a setback. It was somewhat of a concern last night when we had to drain it and get an MRI, but my ultimate goal was to be able to participate in the practice and that's what I did."