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saint5221 11-12-2003 08:59 AM

Hodge expected to start, Craver back& Injury updates

Kffl had the report that Hodge was expected to assume the starting roll this Sunday but had no article with it.

Hodge eager to return

Craver back from four-week suspension

Wednesday November 12, 2003
By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer

Linebacker Sedrick Hodge probably will be listed today as questionable on the official injury report for Sunday's game against Atlanta.

But in his mind, there are no questions about his playing status.

"I'm really near a hundred percent," Hodge said. "My leg is feeling good. I just need to get my timing and confidence back, but I feel good about Sunday."

Hodge has not played since suffering a hairline fracture in the upper right tibia against Houston Sept. 14. The fracture, originally diagnosed to require a six-to-eight week rehabilitation, has healed according to recent bone scans, Hodge said. On Tuesday, he didn't even wear a brace to support the injury.

"I don't need a brace," Hodge said. "The crack is pretty much gone. I'm really excited about playing again."

The expected return of Hodge and defensive end Darren Howard could give the Saints their healthiest defensive lineup since the first week of the season.

"There is a lot of wait-and-see until the end of the week," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "If everybody plays, then I would say, yes. I don't know how that will pan out until another three or four days."

CRAVER BACK: : Cornerback Keyuo Craver returned Tuesday from a four-week suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He is expected to be available for action Sunday, but Haslett said his role would not be determined until later this week.

Craver, a 2002 fourth-round draft pick, started the season as the No. 4 cornerback behind Dale Carter, Ashley Ambrose and Fred Thomas. During his suspension, veteran reserve Fakhir Brown played the dime and nickel back roles.

"If he can go, then he would play special teams and be your fourth corner or fifth (corner) depending on who you have active," Haslett said. "I can't tell you how it is all going to shake out until probably later in the week."

INJURY UPDATE Starting guards LeCharles Bentley (knee) and Kendyl Jacox (knee) did not practice Tuesday and are expected to be listed as questionable on today's injury report, Haslett said. Cornerback Dale Carter (quadriceps), running back James Fenderson (foot) and linebacker Darrin Smith (hamstring) also did not practice. Carter is expected to be questionable. Fenderson and Smith will be doubtful.

Bentley and Jacox will need to practice some time this week in order to play Sunday, Haslett said. Spencer Folau and rookie Montrae Holland would replace Bentley and Jacox.

. . . . . . .
Jeff Duncan can be reached at or (504) 826-3405

[Edited on 11/12/2003 by saint5221]

tweeky 11-12-2003 12:45 PM

Hodge expected to start, Craver back& Injury updates
Craver\'s return is intriguing. He\'s had a down year to be kind. He was expected to step up this year and compete for a starting spot. Apparently the kid has some off field issues to deal with. He\'s got the talent to be either a good #2 CB or a safety.

Some guys do turn their careers around after getting into this kind of trouble. Its quite possible he re-dedicates himself to football and becomes a valuable assett for this team.

Unfortunately the NFL is also litered with talented guys that couldn\'t.

Lets hope he gets it all together. I\'ve seen too many kids and family member\'s lives ruined by drugs. I hope he straightens up before its too late, and too late is right around the corner bro\'.

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