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Injury to Saints DT Franklin not as serious as first believed

Defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin, a key signing by the New Orleans Saints this offseason, suffered a sprained medial collateral ligament in Saturday night's preseason loss to the Houston Texans, according to the Times-Picayune.

Franklin's injury, while a setback, is not as serious as first believed, but he will have less than three weeks to heal as the Saints are set to kick off the regular season against the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers on Sept. 8.

Franklin, 30, signed a one-year deal with the Saints after failing to reach a long-term deal with the San Francisco 49ers, who placed the franchise tag on the 6-foot-1, 317-pound defensive lineman in 2010.

Franklin has recorded 187 tackles, four sacks, one interception, and three forced fumbles in an eight-year career that began in Baltimore in 2003. He played the last four season with the 49ers.

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