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TallySaint 08-09-2005 05:52 AM

LB Allen, Hakim, Slaughter signed, etc....
Saints' Allen limited by injuries

Problems with his left knee keeping linebacker sidelined

Tuesday, August 09, 2005
By Mike Triplett - Times Picayune

A seemingly minor knee injury has turned into a major frustration for Saints linebacker James Allen.

The fourth-year veteran has barely practiced since spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee July 29. He returned to the field twice last week, but he re-injured the knee, this time on the outside.

An MRI on Monday revealed he has a bone bruise, Allen said. He is hoping he will be back on the field in a matter of days.

"My body's not working with me right now," Allen said after Monday's morning practice, most of which he spent riding a stationary bike. "Right now, I'm able to run straight ahead. But I'm just trying to get to that point where I can explode on the field again."

Allen is expected to resume his role as the Saints' starting strongside linebacker this year, but he's not taking that for granted.

"There's no good time to get hurt, especially with the way the competition is," Allen said. "Nobody's name is etched in stone."

Fifth-year linebacker Sedrick Hodge and third-year linebacker Cie Grant have taken turns with the first unit in Allen's absence. When Hodge is in, he lines up at Allen's position. When Grant is in, he lines up on the weak side, and starting weakside linebacker Colby Bockwoldt moves over to the strong side.

Hodge has started 31 games the past three years but was replaced by Allen toward the end of last season. Saints coach Jim Haslett said he has been pleased with the performances of Hodge and Grant so far.

HAKIM ALSO HURT: Receiver Az-Zahir Hakim will miss at least a week or two after injuring his right hamstring in Saturday night's Black and Gold Scrimmage. He is expected to miss Friday's preseason opener against Seattle at the Superdome.

"You never know with hamstrings," said Hakim, who suffered a handful of injuries during his past three seasons in Detroit, most notably to his hip and knee. But he said he hasn't had a hamstring injury since college. "I just want to be ready when it's time. I don't want to rush back and mess it up even worse."

Hakim, an eight-year veteran, was signed in free agency this summer to compete for the team's third receiver spot. He appears to be leading the battle with less-experienced Devery Henderson and Talman Gardner so far in camp. But the two young receivers will get an opportunity to perform in his absence.

ON LOCATION: The Saints practiced at the Superdome on Monday night in front of 5,101 fans. Only season-ticket holders were allowed through the gates. The players -- especially the newcomers -- were able to get a feel for their surroundings before Friday night's game.

They also held a light morning workout indoors at the team's practice facility Monday. The session was primarily a walk-through, followed by some brief situational periods.

ON LOCATION II: The Saints will practice Wednesday night at Hahnville High School from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The practice is open to the public, but the school is requesting a $5 donation from each fan, with the proceeds going to the Hahnville football program. A maximum of 7,000 fans will be admitted.

Players will sign autographs after the practice, and the Saints will have junior training camp activities for kids outside of the practice.

ETC.: Quarterback Adrian McPherson ran with the third-string offense during Monday morning's two-minute drill. Haslett said he plans to continue rotating McPherson and Kliff Kingsbury in practices. . . . The Saints signed free agent linebacker T.J. Slaughter, who made nine tackles in 14 games with the Baltimore Ravens last season. Slaughter fills the roster spot that was opened when the team released fullback Jasen Isom last week. . . . Tight end Ernie Conwell tweaked his groin muscle and is day to day.


TallySaint 08-09-2005 03:59 PM

T.J. Slaughter

Missed 12 games in 2001 and 2002 with various injuries. He also was suspended for four games in 2002 after failing a league-mandated drug test.

2003 (Jax)- Two high school students driving near the airport late Sunday night said a man driving alongside them in luxury SUV had harsh words for them, then threatened them with a gun.

A little more than an hour later, Jaguars linebacker Tavaris Jermell Slaughter was arrested on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Jaguars send him on his way...

One source says he played in 14 games for Ravens in 2004. 8 tackles.


Hopefully Slaughter has his life on track and is ready to play some football.


papz 08-09-2005 04:35 PM

Wow I never new T.J. had character issues. He's was a decent linebacker for Jacksonville for a couple of seasons.

I'd give Grant the first crack at the job if anything were to happen to Allen. We've already seen for the past 5 seasons what Hodge can do... time for some new blood (kinda).

Anyhow... this is a great oppurtunity for Talman. Hopefully he'll continue to impress and make it an extremely hard decision for Haslett to make regarding the 3rd spot.

It's pretty obvious Brooks is #1, Bouman #2, and A-Mac #3. Kingsbury will once again be on our practice squad. Hey it's not that I don't like the guy, it just wouldn't make any sense putting A-Mac second on the depth chart in his rookie season. Look at Ken Dorsey... when he was drafted people were complaining about his lack of arm strength. During the offseason he bulked up and now has some zip on his passes. Kingsbury should continue to develop and he'll be a solid backup for someone down the road.

TallySaint 08-09-2005 04:44 PM


Anyhow... this is a great oppurtunity for Talman. Hopefully he'll continue to impress and make it an extremely hard decision for Haslett to make regarding the 3rd spot.

Yeah. Seems he's having a good camp. Good for him. Third spot or not, I suspect he'll be a Saint this year. Many fans were ready to write him off. It'll be interesting to see his progress in camp and the pre-season.


duece4pres 08-10-2005 01:28 AM

Once again, and I hope I don't eat my words later, Slaughter was a baller at USM. If healthy, this kid will be a big asset.

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