Oct 25, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) celebrates following a 13-10 victory against the Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston started the 2021 season by leading the team to a 5-2 record while throwing for 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions.

His impressive play, unfortunately, came to a screeching halt when Winston suffered a torn ACL in Week 7 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Saints’ season then went downhill and they missed out on the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Despite the devastating injury that Winston suffered last year, the team seems to believe that his hot start was not a flash in the pan. Winston received a two-year contract extension worth $28 million this offseason, and it looks like they think he will be their starting quarterback for years to come. However, it may still take him some time to fully recover before he’s 100 percent for the Saints again.

While he has been cleared by the team to participate in their OTAs this offseason, Winston has reportedly been seen with a pretty noticeable limp, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football.

There is obviously still plenty of time before Winston needs to truly be ready for NFL action, and many Saints fans don’t seem to be too worried by this report.

That being said, the Saints will certainly need Winston to progress from his ACL recovery in time for next season. New Orleans did sign veteran quarterback Andy Dalton this offseason as a contingency plan if he isn’t able to go. While Dalton has shown that he can be solid as a quarterback, he is far from exceptional at this point of his NFL career.

They also have Ian Book who played in a game for the team last year but was far from impressive in his one start.

The Saints will need Jameis to be good to go for Week 1 if they want any chance of returning to the playoffs next season.

[Pro Football Talk]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.