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saint5221 12-13-2003 10:27 AM

Stallworth hoping to play vs. Giants Tebucky Injured

I was glad to read that his teammates and the staff have been getting on him.

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Saints News

Stallworth hoping to play vs. Giants

Saturday December 13, 2003
By Jeff Duncan
Staff writer

Saints owner Tom Benson walked off the practice field Friday with a smile.

"We had a real good practice today," he said as he left the team's indoor practice facility with granddaughter Rita LeBlanc. "Even Donté was out there running around."

That Donté Stallworth practiced Friday wasn't as newsworthy as the way he practiced. The second-year wide receiver looked fluid and fast and showed no ill effects from the high ankle sprain that has sidelined him for the past four games.

After the Saints' two-hour practice, Stallworth tested the injured ankle by running routes and catching passes from quarterback Aaron Brooks while Saints coach Jim Haslett and General Manager Mickey Loomis monitored.

Haslett said Stallworth's playing status for the Saints' game against the New York Giants on Sunday night will be determined at game time. Haslett wants to see how the ankle responds to the extra workload.

Meanwhile, Stallworth remains listed as questionable on the injury report.

"I told them if I can run, I'm playing," Stallworth said. "If you don't want me to play (on Sunday), don't let me in that stadium."

Stallworth practiced on a limited basis last week and appeared poised to return this week before suffering a setback during rehabilitation Monday. Stallworth watched Wednesday's practice with a protective boot on his left ankle. He also rested the ankle Thursday.

"I got two days rest and it felt a lot better," Stallworth said. "I felt decent, about 65 or 70 percent. I just want to get 15 or 20 reps, anything. I don't want to hurt the team, but just let me get some contact. Just let me get out there."

After an eight-catch, 101-yard game in the season opener, Stallworth caught only seven passes for 119 yards and one touchdown in the next five games. He missed all but one series of the next three games with a strained quadriceps.

Meanwhile, Stallworth has been the subject of intense criticism, internally by teammates and club officials and externally by media and fans.

"It's killing me," Stallworth said. "People on the outside, they don't know. I hate being in the training room. I'm just trying to get out there on the field. I want to finish the year out strong."

Also, Friday, safety Tebucky Jones was added to the injury report with a sprained ankle that he suffered at the end of practice Thursday. He is listed as questionable. If Jones can't play, Haslett said Deveron Harper would get his first career start.

. . . . . . .

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

BillyC 12-14-2003 09:54 AM

Stallworth hoping to play vs. Giants Tebucky Injured
I hope Donte\' can finish out these last 3-games strong. He really needs to end the season on a positive note. Donte being out has hurt this offense in a number of ways. It took away the deep threat and also allowed teams to double Joe Horn. As good as Joe Horn is, he\'s not a home run threat and doean\'t get many YAC. The only other receiver we have that can run after he get\'s the ball is Michael Lewis, and he\'s only caught about 15-passes.

With Donte\' being back and Boo Williams providing an execellent target at tighend, it should open the passing game up. The depleted Giants secondary is going to have their hands full Sunday night.

[Edited on 14/12/2003 by BillyC]

rich006 12-14-2003 10:04 AM

Stallworth hoping to play vs. Giants Tebucky Injured

The depleted Giants secondary is going to have their hands full Sunday night.
Fortunately for them, the ball will be nowhere near them, as it will be located on the ground just behind Aaron Brooks, and just beneath a Giants D-lineman or LB...

Sorry, I couldn\'t resist. I hope you\'re right. I hope Brooks fixes the fumbling problem, but you\'ll understand if I\'m not optimistic.

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