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Friday, October 24, 2008
McAllister, Smith still expected to play Sunday

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

McAllisterSmith

LONDON, England -- What had been a very quiet week for the New Orleans Saints suddenly ended about the time the team left the castle it was using as headquarters in the English countryside and checked into a London hotel late Friday afternoon.

The reports that running back Deuce McAllister and defensive end Will Smith are among a group of players to test positive for a substance banned by the NFL came after both players practiced at The Grove in Watford on Friday morning.

The league and the Saints haven't commented on the reports, but it appears certain McAllister and Smith will play in Sunday's game against the Chargers at Wembley Stadium. Even if McAllister and Smith face possible suspensions, it wouldn't happen before Sunday's game.

The league generally follows a procedure where suspensions are announced early in the week to allow teams to prepare for playing without those players. If McAllister and Smith were going to be suspended for this game, the league wouldn't have let them make the trip to England.

McAllister, a longtime starter at running back, had been replaced by Reggie Bush this season. But Bush had knee surgery Monday and McAllister is expected to start and get most of the carries against the Saints.