The New Orleans Saints have dealt with a ton of injuries this season which has made it difficult for them to get on track from the start. In Week 1, when they were healthy, they picked up an impressive victory over the Atlanta Falcons, but it has been downhill since then.
New Orleans has gone 3-7 since and one of the toughest injuries for them to overcome has been the one to quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston was excellent in the season opener, completing 67.7 percent of his passes for 269 yards, two touchdowns and zero turnovers.
He looked as if he was picking up right from where he left off in 2021. Winston was the starter last season before a knee injury ended his season prematurely. After being brought along slowly in the offseason, he looked healthy and ready to go when the season got underway, but injuries once again derailed him.
In the game against the Falcons, Winston suffered a fractured back, as four vertebrae were fractured. He attempted to play through the injury but his performance suffered, which isn’t surprising given the nature of the injury.
In Weeks 2 and 3, Winston went 50-for-81, which is 61.7 percent, for 589 yards but he threw only two touchdowns compared to five interceptions. He also fumbled the ball three times but all three were recovered by the Saints.
His production was slipping and Dennis Allen eventually decided to go to backup quarterback Andy Dalton in Week 4. The results haven’t changed as the team isn’t winning any more than they did with Winston.
Despite being 100 percent healthy, Winston has not been inserted back into the starting lineup. There was some consideration given about benching Dalton following the team’s Week 10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he was back under center in Week 11 against the Los Angeles Rams.
It is something that has left Winston devastated and disappointed. He shared some raw feelings about being benched and not having a chance to get back out there last week.
That is certainly tough to watch. Winston worked very hard rehabbing from his knee injury over the offseason to only get hurt in Week 1. The team hasn’t won very much and Dalton isn’t setting the world on fire with his production, so it is a little peculiar that Winston wasn’t given another shot at the starting job.
Winston signed a two-year, $28 million deal with the Saints during the 2022 offseason, which makes the benching even more peculiar. He seemed to be their quarterback for the foreseeable future until they could get a long-term option in the building, but that no longer seems to be the case.