NEW ORLEANS – Deuce McAllister is back where some say he truly belongs.
The Saints announced Friday afternoon that they had re-signed McAllister, the franchise's record-holder for all things rushing. Sources close to McAllister said he will be inactive for the game and will serve as an honorary captain for Saturday's 3:30 p.m. NFC Divisional round playoff game against Arizona.
The team placed defensive tackle Rodney Leisle, who was signed two weeks ago, on Injured Reserve to open up a spot on the roster for the former Saints standout.
"I"m speechless," McAllister said. "I don't know that there are words to describe this feeling. I do know that we have unfinished business that we starteed a few years ago and we want to finish the deal."
McAllister owns Saints franchise records for touchdown (55), rushing yards (6,096), rushing touchdowns (49), rushing attempts (1,429) and his 27 career 100-yard days. He's also fourth in scoring (330 points). He was named to two Pro Bowl teams in his eight seasons with the Saints.
"Deuce is a huge part of the history of our club and of what has gotten this team to where we are today and we absolutely wanted him with us as we head into the playoffs," Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis said.
McAllister was cut in February 2009 following the 2008 season, one in which he was barely used as the Saints went 8-8. He ran for 418 yards on 107 carries and scored five touchdowns.
But in the past several years, McAllister has had knee surgeries to repair an anterior cruciate ligament tear in each knee as well as a microfracture surgery.
With Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and Lynell Hamilton all on the roster as running backs, McAllister’s role is not yet known.
"Deuce McAllister has always embodied the spirit of the New Orleans Saints and the city of New Orleans," Head Coach Sean Payton said. "We're excited to have him back with the team and to have him lead us out to the field tomorrow."
Leisle was signed on Dec. 30 to play defensive tackle. But on Thursday, he was listed as a DNP (did not practice) with an injured knee after practicing Wendesday.
By Friday, the team decided he had to be placed on IR, opening up a spot for McAllister.