In 43 days, on Sept. 11, the Minnesota Vikings will host the New Orleans Saints, in the 2017 season opener for both teams. Canal Street Chronicles continues our own series of countdown to kickoff; today we take a look at a few Saints players that have worn the No. 43. This jersey number typically identifies fullbacks, running-backs, linebackers, and occasionally hybrid defensive ends. Unlike my journey through the 70s, this segment of the list has many candidates.
Darren Sproles (RB, 2011-2013)
The pint-sized dynamo from Kansas State is one of the most productive athletes in NFL history. Sproles has been considered a dangerous returner and wide receiver since entering the league as a 4th round pick in 2005 by the then San Diego Chargers. As a Saint, Darren joined the black and gold just in time to be key member of the historic 2011 offense led by Drew Brees. Adding fuel to the ‘Chargers farm team’ fire, Sproles was dynamic and exciting to watch in his three seasons with the Saints. Unfortunately, the trade that sent Sproles to the Philadelphia Eagles was met with a mixed response from fans as many felt that he had more to offer the team. He’s been very productive in Philly, tying Desean Jackson’s franchise record with 4 return TDs. Darren also owns 2 NFL records, one for most all purpose yards in a season and another for most total return yards in a two-game span.
Mike McKenzie (CB, 2004-2008, 2009)
McKenzie is another member of the 2009 championship Saints team who is fondly remembered for his long hair and impeccable timing in generating turnovers. After arriving in New Orleans via trade on 2004, ‘Money Mike’…
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