Can McAllister, Smith make any difference for Saints?

December, 5, 2008
12/05/08
3:32
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The suspensions of Deuce McAllister, Will Smith and Charles Grant have been blocked -- at least temporarily -- by a federal judge. But that doesn't mean there should be any more celebrating than usual in the French Quarter.

This is only a small victory for New Orleans and it may not last long. The judge said he needs more information and time. That buys the Saints a little bit of time because it looks like McAllister and Smith will be eligible to play in Sunday's game against Atlanta.

Does it really matter?

A few years ago, it would have been huge because McAllister was New Orleans' best player. But he's been nothing more than a role player this year. Sure, it would be nice if he's completely cleared so his legacy as perhaps the best and most popular player in franchise history can live peacefully forever. But whether McAllister plays in Sunday's game isn't going to make that much of a difference.

Smith is actually a bigger deal because he's a starting defensive end. So was Grant, but he already went out for the season with an injury. So, basically, the advantage here for the 6-6 Saints is that they get to play Smith as they cling to their playoff hope.

Is that really going to be enough to get them to the playoffs?

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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