Saints deny RB Bush gone for season

As expected, running back Reggie Bush was among the New Orleans Saints' inactive players for Monday night's game against Atlanta.

But the Saints were not yet ready to confirm reports Bush will be out the rest of the season.

An MRI exam last week indicated Bush has a partially torn left knee ligament.

A Saints spokesman said Monday night the team has made no comment on Bush's status beyond the Falcons game. Bush was examined Monday in Birmingham, Ala., by noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

Bush has scored six touchdowns with 581 yards rushing and 417 yards receiving.

Aaron Stecker, who is second on the team with 200 yards rushing, started at running back for Bush. Stecker's role already was expanded when Deuce McAllister suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 3.

The Saints also listed free safety Josh Bullocks as inactive. Kevin Kaesviharn made his second start of the season. Kaesviharn also started last week against Tampa Bay when the team opened with three safeties.

The Falcons designated Joey Harrington as the No. 3 quarterback, leaving Byron Leftwich to play behind Chris Redman, who made his first start since Oct. 20, 2002.

Also inactive for Atlanta was left guard Justin Blalock, the rookie starter. Kynan Forney returned to the starting lineup at right guard, and D'Anthony Batiste moved to left guard to start for Blalock.

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