SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Deuce McAllister likely will miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Sunday at Green Bay.

Saints coach Jim Haslett said Monday that the running back got a second opinion Monday in San Antonio. He’ll get a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., later this week.

“If that’s the case, a torn ligament, he’s out for the year,” Haslett said. “I feel bad first of all for Deuce. He’s worked hard to get to this point. He’s a great football player.”

McAllister became the leading career rusher for the Saints earlier this season. He’s had three straight 1,000-yard rushing seasons plus three straight seasons with 30 or more receptions coming out of the backfield.

He has rushed for 335 yards and a 3.6 average this season with three touchdowns.

The loss of McAllister would strike another blow in the Saints season. He had signed a seven-year contract extension during the offseason that makes him one of the NFL’s highest-paid players.

He is due to get $6 million this season.

The Saints lost their home stadium when Hurricane Katrina damaged the Superdome in Louisiana. That forced the Saints to move their headquarters to San Antonio and some of their home games to the Alamodome.

On Sunday, the Saints suffered their second-worst loss in team history. The 52-3 defeat at Green Bay is surpassed only by the 62-7 loss during the 1973 season against Atlanta in Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

“I have a lot of confidence in our team,” Haslett said. “We’ve overcome a lot in the past year and the last couple of months.

“The loss against Green Bay was enough for a lifetime. Anytime you lose a player like Deuce you have to have him surrounded by people who can pick up their game. Everybody has to play better.”

Haslett said McAllister’s playing time will be split between Aaron Stecker and Antowain Smith.

Stecker has 646 yards in five seasons, but he’s overcoming an ankle sprain that’s sidelined him the past two weeks.

The Saints signed the 32-year-old Smith during the offseason. He’s twice had 1,000-yard rushing seasons, including the 2001 season when he had a game-high 92 yards for New England in the Super Bowl.

AP-ES-10-10-05 1803EDT


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