3 most important players on the Saints who are not starters

Kristen Wong
Saints. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)
Saints. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) /
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New Orleans Saints
New Orleans Saints Andy Dalton – Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports /

Saints’ Player No. 3: Andy Dalton

We’ve written about this before and can’t stress this enough: if Jameis Winston has to miss any amount of time this season, backup QB Andy Dalton will need to step up and win a few games for the team.

Winston’s rehab has been going well so far and fingers crossed he can stay healthy all year round. Any snag in his recovery could mean more minutes for Dalton, though, and the former Bengals quarterback has to be able to deliver the goods.

Most NFL teams’ backup quarterbacks are break-in-case-of-emergency ones, the players who sit in the starters’ shadows until some stroke of luck (or misfortune, depending on which way you look at it) lets them suit up for a game. In that vein, backup QBs can be both the most overlooked yet most important players on the roster, and Dalton is no exception.

By not drafting a QB this offseason, the Saints effectively put their faith in Winston and Dalton to tandem the quarterback room and find a way to win in 2022.

Between the two of them, Winston clearly has more pressure, but Dalton will want to prove he can still sling the pigskin if need be, too. Dalton isn’t competing for the starting job by any means, but he must know that the minute Winston gets injured, his name will be called. And he has to perform well — the Saints’ 2022 season could depend on it.