New Orleans pulls even but not without paying a price

By By Richard Dark / EMG staff writer
Nov. 18, 2003
METAIRIE, La. The heart stopping 23-20 overtime victory the Saints secured over the Atlanta Falcons did not come without a price.
The injury list Coach Jim Haslett unveiled on Monday was long and detailed with nearly a dozen players named with various bumps and bruises.
Offensive guard Kendyl Jacox underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Monday and should be out two to three weeks. Line mate LeCharles Bentley also injured his knee and may not play this week against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Haslett also confirmed the expected, telling reporters that tight end Ernie Conwell will miss at least eight weeks after breaking his fibula just above his right ankle at the end of the first quarter. Conwell will undergo surgery today. Defensive lineman Willie Whitehead also sprained the MCL in his knee and may also sit out next week.
Eight other players will be reevaluated this week.
Boo Williams will be elevated to starter and Walter Rasby will be the backup. Zach Hilton will likely be activated on gameday.
Looking back at the game itself, Haslett said he thought the defense turned in perhaps its most complete effort of the season, but given that Atlanta is anything but a strong team, it wasn't all complementary.
But Haslett still gave credit to quarterback Aaron Brooks for what he did after he threw the two interceptions in the first half.
It followed a theme of redemption that was woven through the game, one that was brought home when the defense held the Falcons to just two yards when the team probably needed just five to clinch the winning field goal. Instead Jay Feeley's 54-yarder fell short.
But for all the topsy-turvy momentum swings the game contained, one player managed to keep it all in perspective.
McAfee said he also offered words of encouragement to running back Deuce McAllister after his second fumble. "I just told him to keep ballin'. We just got to keep moving on. That's just how it is."
The climb from the 1-4 hole was a slow one and Haslett used that illustration to sum up where his team currently is.

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