Saints’ Jameis Winston is back and ready to roll

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After nine grueling months of rehab and after a recent injury scare, New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston is back.

And hopefully, he’s better than ever.

Winston spent most of the offseason rehabbing his ACL tear and would have entered training camp earlier if not for a foot sprain he suffered on August 8, which caused him to miss the Saints’ first two preseason games.

ESPN’s Katherine Terrell reported that Winston returned to 7-on-7 drills during practice on Sunday in front of crowds of Saints fans at Caesars Superdome. Winston was wearing a knee brace and had both of his feet heavily taped, yet he appeared to have a full range of motion.

Winston had done some individual drills prior to Sunday, but this was his first group practice, marking a crucial step in his highly anticipated return.

Per Terrell’s observations, Winston completed passes to several wide receivers (Jarvis Landry, Deonte Harty, and Kawaan Baker, to name a few) and also threw a touchdown to rookie Dai’Jean Dixon.

On Monday, Winston reportedly threw his first interception of camp (snagged by none other than Ceedy Duce) as he participated in full team drills, but all things considered, the Saints are happy to finally see him back on the field.

Saints relieved to see quarterback Jameis Winston healthy again in 2022

The former No. 1 overall pick signed a two-year extension this offseason to return as the Saints’ starting quarterback. In 2021, Winston was competing with Taysom Hill for snaps under center, but he has since solidly won the starting job and will look to pick up where he left off last year.

Winston threw for 1,170 yards and recorded 14 touchdowns against three interceptions before suffering his season-ending injury, and one of the biggest questions in Saints camp will be whether he can replicate that level of success under new head coach Dennis Allen.

His wide receiver corps has drastically improved, though his offensive line arguably regressed with Terron Armstead’s departure earlier this offseason.

It’s still unclear whether Winston will feature in the Saints’ final preseason game against the Los Angeles Chargers. On one hand, Winston could use a few in-game reps, but on the other, he simply can’t afford an injury setback this close to the regular season.

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For now, the Saints will take their wins where they can. And seeing Jameis Winston healthy and throwing to his receivers on the field is a very, very big victory indeed.