<span>New Orleans Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis announced Wednesday that the team has placed tight end Mark Campbell and running back Aaron Stecker on the reserve/injured list, ending the season for both veteran players. The Saints have signed free agent running backs Darian Barnes and Mike Bell to take their places on the roster.
Campbell is a 10-year veteran tight end who signed with the Saints as a free agent prior to the 2006 season. The 32-year-old former University of Michigan Wolverine has played in 23 regular season games for New Orleans, making 15 starts, and caught 30 passes for 285 yards with two touchdowns. Campbell returned to action in 2008 after missing the entire 2007 season with a back injury and caught 12 passes for 121 yards and two scores in nine games before suffering an injury to his left knee in Sunday's victory at Kansas City.
Stecker has battled a hamstring injury throughout the 2008 season and was limited to just six games, where he carried the ball eight times for 43 yards, caught nine passes for 52 yards and a touchdown and made three tackles on special teams. One of the club's five season-long captains, Stecker has been a Saint since signing with the team as a free agent in 2004 and the nine-year veteran running back has played in 65 games for New Orleans, running for 1,109 yards and seven touchdowns along with 129 receptions for 908 yards and a score, averaging 22.4 yards on 67 kickoff returns with a touchdown and making 27 special teams stops.
Barnes is a 6-0, 255-pound veteran fullback who has been in the league since signing with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Hampton University in 2002. In his seventh professional season, he has played in 71 career games (27 starts) in stints with Tampa Bay, Dallas, Miami, the New York Jets, Buffalo and Detroit. Known primarily as a blocking back, the Toms River, N.J. native has five career carries for 10 yards and has caught 16 passes for 121 yards with a touchdown along with 16 special teams tackles. Barnes played in three games this season with Buffalo and an additional two with Detroit before being waived by the Lions last week.
Bell is a third-year runner who spent his first two NFL seasons with the Denver Broncos after signing with them as an undrafted free agent from the University of Arizona. In 20 games with Denver, the 6-foot, 225-pound back gained 680 yards on 163 carries with eight touchdowns and caught 21 passes for 165 yards. He was waived by the Broncos during training camp this summer.
The team also signed a pair of players to their practice squad, inking wide receiver Chris Francies and running back Lavarus Giles to contracts. Francies is a second-year player from UTEP who split the 2006 and 2007 seasons between the active roster and practice squad of the Green Bay Packers. Giles is a rookie runner out of Jackson State who spent time in the training camps of the Jacksonville Jaguars and St. Louis Rams this summer.