New Orleans Saints place running back Aaron Stecker on injured reserve, sign running back Mike Bell and fullback Darian Barnes

Posted by Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune November 18, 2008 6:21PM

Aaron Stecker was placed in IR by the Saints, ending his season.

The Saints placed tailback Aaron Stecker on injured reserve Tuesday after he aggravated his lingering hamsting injury in Sunday’s 30-20 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. They replaced him with free agent tailback Mike Bell, a 6-foot, 225-pounder who spent the past two seasons with the Denver Broncos.

They also signed free agent fullback Darian Barnes (6-2, 240), a seventh-year veteran who was with Detroit and Buffalo earlier in the year.
Stecker’s injury was expected to need four to six weeks to heal, according to his agent Ronald Slavin. With only six weeks remaining in the season, the Saints needed the roster spot.

Stecker, 33, is a free agent after this season after he signed a one-year deal to remain in New Orleans this past spring. The valuable utility man has been with the Saints for five years after spending his first four seasons in Tampa Bay.

Bell, 25, had a breakout rookie season with the Broncos in 2006 after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Arizona. But he played only sparingly last year and did not catch on with a team this season after a brief cameo with the Houston Texans in training camp. Bell ran for 677 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie and just three yards on six attempts last year. His agent Steven Feldman confirmed the signing.

Barnes, 28, has bounced around with eight different NFL teams since he originally signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent out of Hampton in 2002. His most extensive playing time came in Dallas in 2004, when he scored his only career touchdown.

The other player released from the Saints’ active roster has not yet been announced.

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