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.
The man is 7 months out of surgery. He’s not 100% yet. Just wait till Week 1 or Preseason he will be fine… https://t.co/3RxnjB3zwa
— Andrew Riedell (@RiedellAndrew) May 30, 2022
Still early for his return from injury. Say this in Sept and I may be concerned https://t.co/2yBHwexW8o
— 2RANGZ Rams (@TaeDaReBirPH) May 30, 2022
Still normal at this point considering the reconstruction he had. It’s normal for many with post ACL to still limp around after physical activity https://t.co/PbmGBaEQKV
— Cody Roark (@CodyRoarkNFL) May 30, 2022
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.