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Howard planning to play.......

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; But Haslett says DE is 'doubtful' for Seattle game Wednesday September 03, 2003 By Jeff Duncan Staff writer If Saints defensive end Darren Howard has his way, he'll be in the starting lineup against Seattle on Sunday. "In my mind, ...

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Old 09-03-2003, 10:19 AM   #1
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Howard planning to play.......

But Haslett says DE is 'doubtful' for Seattle game


Wednesday September 03, 2003


By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer

If Saints defensive end Darren Howard has his way, he'll be in the starting lineup against Seattle on Sunday.

"In my mind, I'm going to play," said Howard, who has missed more than two weeks of practice with a bone bruise in his right knee. "They're going to have to drag me off the field."


As has been the case for the past two weeks, Howard watched Tuesday's practice in shorts. He is still receiving daily treatment on the injury and said playing on the injured joint will not harm the recovery process.

Saints coach Jim Haslett, who along with team doctors will have the final say on Howard's playing status, said Monday that Howard is "doubtful" to play.

"I'm just taking it day by day," said Howard, who led the Saints with eight sacks last season. "I'm not too worried about it. It could've been worse. It could've happened this week instead of two weeks ago."

Left end Charles Grant practiced Tuesday. He is expected to be listed as questionable or probable when the official injury report is released today. Grant strained a calf muscle in practice Aug. 21 and did not play in the team's final two preseason games.

RILEY WINS JOB: Victor Riley has won the starting spot at right tackle. The team has not made an official announcement, but Riley worked with the first-team offense throughout practice Tuesday and is expected to start for the third time with the Saints on Sunday.

Riley, 28, beat out fellow veteran Spencer Folau, who started all four preseason games at right tackle and 14 games at the position in 2002.

MILLOY INTEREST: Saints officials contacted the agents of safety Lawyer Milloy to gauge his interest and determine a salary scale for the former New England Patriots Pro Bowler, General Manager Mickey Loomis said.

Washington, Buffalo, Minnesota and the New York Jets also are interested in Milloy, 29.

"We're definitely interested," Loomis said. "Whether it's financially feasible for us to do something remains to be seen."

The Saints are about $5 million under the $75 million salary cap, but some of that money is reserved for a possible long-term deal for Howard, who will become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

It is also unclear if the club can afford to tie up more money in the safety position. The club already has more than $30 million invested in Milloy's former Patriots teammate, Tebucky Jones, whose salary-cap value is $1.967 million this season.

Milloy was released by New England on Tuesday because the club couldn't afford his $4.4 million base salary, and the sides failed to reach a deal after months of negotiations. Milloy was in the fourth year of a seven-year, $35 million contract.

RUNNER VISITS: Running back Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala visited Saints camp Monday and Tuesday before leaving town to visit the Jacksonville Jaguars, his agent, Mike Sullivan, said.

On Sunday, Pittsburgh released Fuamatu-Ma'afala, who weighs 254 pounds and was hounded by minor injuries throughout his five-year career. Fuamatu-Ma'afala's fate was sealed when he pulled a hamstring 10 days ago.

"He's a very talented player who has had some bad luck with injuries," Sullivan said. "The Saints have shown interest, as have several teams. We would like to have a deal done this weekend."

Cincinnati and New England also are believed to be interested in Fuamatu-Ma'afala, who rushed for 751 yards on 172 carries in 52 games with the Steelers.

The Saints are not expected to make a move for a running back until Monday.

NEW ADDITION: The Saints added cornerback Leonard Myers to the practice squad after he cleared waivers. New England released Myers, 24, on Sunday. He played in 15 games during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, primarily on special teams.

Players assigned to the practice squad are free agents and can be signed by any team but must remain on that team's active roster for at least three weeks.
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Old 09-03-2003, 10:33 AM   #2
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Howard planning to play.......

Now thats good news. He\'s our best shot at pressure on the QB, so I sure hope he does play and is not limited by the knee.
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