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BillyCarpenter1 10-21-2003 08:23 AM

Howard back soon -- Stallworth out

Howard targets return date

Hobbled Stallworth doubtful; Horn likely to be fined for antics

Tuesday October 21, 2003

By Brian Allee-Walsh
Staff writer

Injured defensive end Darren Howard said he hopes to be back on the field for the Saints' home game against the Atlanta Falcons on Nov. 16.

Howard, who has been sidelined the past six games, is scheduled to have four pins surgically removed from his broken right wrist Oct. 29 and be fitted with a new cast.

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"It's been difficult," Howard said Monday. "I've never missed any time before this, not here, not in college, high school or peewee football. So yeah, it's been hard. But it's almost over."

Howard had started the first 51 games of his NFL career (including two playoff games) before breaking his wrist in the season opener against Seattle.

INJURY REPORT: Saints wide receiver Donté Stallworth is doubtful for Sunday's home game against the Carolina Panthers because of a strained left quadriceps. Tight end Ernie Conwell has a strained left shoulder and will be evaluated daily. Strongside linebacker Sedrick Hodge, who has missed the past five games with an injured right knee, will continue to work on a limited basis.

RIDING SHOTGUN: Saints running back Deuce McAllister continues to find success lining up next to quarterback Aaron Brooks in shotgun formation and taking a direct snap from center Jerry Fontenot. Against Atlanta, McAllister carried three times from that formation and gained 38 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown run. "It's not intended as a trick play," Haslett said. "But you feel so comfortable running it because Deuce is such a good athlete and Jerry does a nice job snapping."

THE BIG THREE: Brooks, McAllister and wide receiver Joe Horn accounted for their first collective 300/100/100 game -- that is, Brooks passed for 352 yards, McAllister rushed for 116 yards and Horn had 133 receiving yards against the Falcons.

ELITE COMPANY: Brooks has passed for at least 250 yards in 20 games (including two playoff games), tying him with former Saints quarterback Archie Manning for the franchise lead.

FYI: Horn can expect to be fined by the league for his end zone antics against the Falcons, Haslett said. Horn was called for taunting by officials after catching a 32-yard touchdown pass from Brooks in the first quarter. "The machine gun thing bothered me," Haslett said. "The NFL outlaws the throat (slashing) deal and the machine gun for obvious reasons. You have a lot of kids watching the games. He can't do that in this league. Joe should know better than that."

BY THE NUMBERS: 5,100 - Tickets remaining for Sunday's home game against the Panthers. All tickets must be sold by noon Thursday for the local television blackout to be lifted. 25 - Consecutive home sellouts.

WORTH REPEATING: "That'll last about three days." -- Haslett on Horn's self-imposed moratorium on talking to the media.

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