3 Saints who have a chip on their shoulder entering 2022 season

Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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Emerging from an injury-riddled 2021 season, the New Orleans Saints have some things to prove. Multiple players feel the pressure to justify themselves more than others. Who are these players? 

The New Orleans Saints saw their fair share of injuries in 2021. Big names saw minimal playing time due to the injury bug and COVID. At one point in time, the Saints saw 21 players and four coaches on the injury report.

According to WWLTV, the Saints had one player on the injury report from six different positions last season. This list includes some valuable positions such as quarterback, wide receiver, tight end, running back, left tackle, and left guard. This means players like Jameis Winston, Alvin Kamara, Adam Trautman, Michael Thomas, and Andrus Peat missed significant time during the season.

Before the 2021 season, the Saints hadn’t seen an injury-riddled season this bad since 2000 but even that team still had strong offensive and defensive lines to carry them through. The 2021 team had injuries to both sides of the ball.

The question is, which Saints players have the most to prove in 2022?

Keep reading to find out which Saints players will play with a chip on their shoulder this coming season.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference 

New Orleans Saints, Payton Turner
New Orleans Saints defensive end Payton Turner – Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Payton Turner – Defensive End

Payton Turner had a less than stellar rookie season in 2021. In his rookie season, Turner played just five games due to injury. In those five games, he played a total of 143 snaps, which totals to Turner only playing 12.8% of all snaps throughout his rookie season.

Being a first-round draft pick holds a lot of expectations. Turner was picked at No. 28 in 2019. While some felt the team needed to go a different route during the first round, the pick was reasonable for the Saints’ needs.

While attending the University of Houston, Turner recorded 25 total tackles in just five games. Turner was a force on Houston’s defense when healthy. Standing at 6’6″ and weighing 270 pounds, Turner brought size to Houston’s defensive line.

With 2022 being a contract year for Marcus Davenport and Tanoh Kpassagnon, Turner needs to step up and be readily available to take over the position. Cameron Jordan is also seeing more snaps on the inside of the interior defensive line as he is extremely effective there.

Jordan is also aging and Turner would be the perfect player to take over the position when Jordan steps down. Spending time under an icon like Jordan should give Turner the guidance he needs. With his stock dropping his rookie year Turner has to come into 2022 and prove he was worth the first-round pick.