New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston generated some buzz this past week by taking part in organized team activities, practicing with his teammates just six months removed from a torn ACL. However, all isn’t well for the 28-year-old quarterback.
While Winston found a way to practice during OTAs, standing in the pocket and making throws to wide receivers, it wasn’t all pretty. According to Nick Underhill of New Orleans.Football, Winston practiced through a visible limp throughout the week.
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It’s not as if the Saints’ coaching staff barely allowed Winston to see the practice field. According to Katherine Terrell of The Athletic, Winston did “almost everything” towards the end of OTAs and worked with some of the offensive starters to prepare for the upcoming season.
- Jameis Winston stats (2021): 1,170 passing yards, 14-3 TD-INT ratio, 7.3 ypa, 102.8 QB rating
New Orleans obviously wants to see a healthy version of Winston. He played well as the starter this past season, despite the Saints’ injuries on the offensive line and the absence of Michael Thomas. Until he tore his ACL against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 8, the Saints looked like a playoff team.
However, there is an undeniable danger in rushing Winston back too soon. If he aggravates the knee injury, head coach Dennis Allen will only have Andy Dalton behind him as a viable starting option. It’s not the type of situation a team with playoff expectations wants to find itself in.
This will be something to monitor with mandatory minicamp and training camp just a few weeks away. If Winston suffers a setback, the Saints might have no choice but to pursue a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo or Baker Mayfield.