Weakened RB still expected to start

Updated: October 5, 2003, 12:23 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The New Orleans Saints early-season struggles just got a bit worse.

Running back Deuce McAllister, the Saints' main offensive weapon, was hospitalized Saturday night in Charlotte and needed an IV after being weakened by a virus.

McAllister is expected to receive additional IV fluids before Sunday's game at the unbeaten Carolina Panthers. It is expected he will start, but will share carries with backup running back Ki-Jana Carter.

McAllister has been one of New Orleans' few bright spots in the first quarter of the season. He already has 304 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 70 carries and has another 99 yards receiving.