New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee during last night's 27-14 loss to the Houston Texans, head coach Sean Payton said.
Mike Triplett of The Times-Picayune notes that this is usually a three-to-four week injury, which puts Franklin's availability for the Saints' regular season-opener against the Green Bay Packers in 18 days in question.
Franklin, 30, spent the first four seasons of his career as a backup on the Baltimore Ravens before signing with the San Francisco 49ers as a free agent in 2007. Franklin started 60 of his 62 games with the 49ers, totaling 148 tackles, three quarterback sacks and an interception.
The 49ers designated Franklin as their franchise player in 2010, but did not make an attempt to re-sign him this offseason. The Saints signed the 6-foot-1, 317-pound to a one-year, $4 million contract in early August, beefing up a run defense that ranked 16th in the NFL last season, but including the post-season loss to the Seattle Seahawks, gave up 125 or more yards on the ground in eight of 17 games.