November 18, 2008

Stecker To IR as Saints Add FB/RB Mike Bell

Bell to help out at fullback, runningback and special teams as another Saint lost

Two years ago, rookie runningback Mike Bell was the talk of the league, emerging immediately and sharing the workload in Denver to rush for 677 yards and eight touchdowns, including 136 yards and a pair of scores against the Super Bowl bound Colts.

Two years later, Bell bounced to the Texans and then out out of the league, and was a free agent when the Saints signed him on Tuesday.

Bell, 6'0, 225, 25, is three years out of the University of Arizona. As a Houston Texan in 2007, he carried the ball in only three games, and did rush against the Saints in the Week 11 matchup.

The Saints placed RB Aaron Stecker on injured reserve after Stecker aggravated a lingering hamstring problem.

The veteran Stecker has been a role player this year on special teams and part of one of the Saints' many runningback combinations. Stecker re-signed with the Saints in March of 2008, turning down interest from the Bucs. He will be a free agent after this season.

Stecker's continuing hamstring problems have shut him down for the season now, first encountered early in the season and aggravated in Atlanta and again last week in Kansas City. On the season, Stecker will finish with eight carries for 43 yards and nine catches for 52 yards and a touchdown. The former NFL Europa MVP Stecker's six games in 2008 are the fewest he has played in five years in New Orleans or four years before that in Tampa Bay.

Its just another loss for the Saints, who have shed players like feathers this season. Stecker will join recent injured reserves DT Brian Young and CB Mike McKenzie. Stecker is the 12th Saint to be lost for the season in 2008, a list which includes three of the Saints' draft picks, both starting cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike McKenzie, a whopping four defensive tackles and the Saints' season-starting kicker Martin Gramatica and defensive end Charles Grant.

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