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Andy Dalton could remain New Orleans Saints starting QB over Jameis Winston

New Orleans Saints quarterback Andy Dalton will get his third consecutive start Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals as Jameis Winston continues to deal with back and ankle injuries.

The wrinkle here is that Winston is healthy enough to be active. He’ll act as QB2 for a Saints squad that’s looking to even its record against Dalton’s former Bengals team. The question now becomes who will be the starter once Winston is 100% ready to return.

According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, there’s an opportunity for Dalton to remain New Orleans starting quarterback should he perform well against the Bengals.

“Saints QB Andy Dalton will make his third start today, with Jameis Winston slated to dress as the backup. As Winston gets back to full health, sounds like there is an opportunity for Dalton to keep starting moving forward with another nice performance today. He’s impressed.”

Report on New Orleans Saints QB situation

New Orleans is 1-1 in the two games that Dalton has started, including a 39-32 win over the Seattle Seahawks last week. It dropped a close affair against the Minnesota Vikings in London the week prior.

Related: New Orleans Saints schedule and game-by-game predictions

Andy Dalton makes perfect sense to remain New Orleans Saints starting QB

Andy Dalton
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We know that Winston was dealing with injuries before the Saints opted to sideline him. Even then, his struggles with turnovers continued prior to being sidelined. That included Winston throwing five interceptions while fumbling the ball three times in his past two starts. The Saints scored a combined 24 points in those two games, losing both.

As for Dalton, he’s been more a game-manager since taking over. Given New Orleans’ questionable talent level, that seems to work best. This is to say, moving the chains and avoiding game-altering turnovers.

A three-time Pro Bowler during his time with the Bengals, Dalton offers New Orleans an opportunity to win close games. He’ll rely on a rushing attack that dominated last week against Seattle and one of the best defenses in the NFL. For his part, Winston’s turnover issues have continued to plague him. The former No. 1 pick has thrown 38 interceptions in his past 26 starts. That’s just not going to cut it.

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