Saints confirm that QB Jameis Winston tore ACL in his left knee
The New Orleans Saints confirmed that quarterback Jameis Winston tore the ACL in his left knee during Sundays win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The star quarterback will be out indefinitely, dealing a major blow to the Saints.
Saints confirm Winston is out, but who's in?
New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton confirmed on Sunday, that quarterback Jameis Winston tore the ACL in his left knee and sustained MCL damage. Winston suffered the injury during the Saints 36-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night. The moment occurred when Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White grabbed Winston by the collar, swinging him backwards. Winston's leg could be seen bending awkwardly under his weight as he fell to the ground.
Payton went on to give details on whether Taysom Hill or Trevor Siemian would become the Saints' new starter ahead of their clash with the Atlanta Falcons and beyond. The Saints' coach referred to it as the "the $6 million question." Payton was clear, however, that the Saints have no intention of signing a new quarterback. "We're satisfied with the quarterback room," Payton said.
Saints to decide between Hill and Siemian
Taysom Hill would be the expected option. The quarterback went toe for toe with Wilson for the starting spot and is a top player in his own right. It is unfortunate, however, as the 31 year old suffered a concussion in week 5 of the NFL season and still remains a doubt.
Speaking on Hill's condition, Payton was hopeful saying, "He's doing well. He's progressing. He's on schedule. And all that's good," Payton was a little less clear when asked about Hill's potential availability for their next game. "We'll see," he said. "We're gonna look closely at what's best for our team in this game. And as the week progresses, we'll see how we want to play it out. And we'll be ready to play Sunday," said Payton, He added, "We'll grind away at the plan, pay attention to the information we're getting from the training room, all of that, and be ready to go."
On the other side of the coin is Siemian, who at 29, is coming off of a very credible performance when he replaced Winston in Sunday's victory. Having entered the game when it was level at 7-7, he went on to complete 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards with one touchdown and no turnovers. Siemian is 13-12 in his career as a starter. "Man, he did a good job," Payton said after Monday's review. "There were a number of plays where he's got a free rusher and he gets the ball out on time. I thought he played with poise and made good decisions. It's what you want someone to do that's coming into the game really without a lot of work, and I thought he handled the situation well. The tape was good for him."
Saints lose Winston at the wrong time
It could be argued that Winston was just getting his groove back after his first five seasons had been spent with the Buccaneers and then playing last season as a backup behind Brees and Hill in New Orleans. "We definitely were encouraged [by Winston's performance this season]," Payton said. To date Winston had posted 95 of 151 passing (59%) for 1,170 yards with 14 TDs and three interceptions.
"We felt like, man, we've seen the arm strength, the leadership, all those things. We talk about all the time, 'They're gonna evaluate you on your record.' And, shoot, he was 4-2. It wasn't always perfect, but absolutely (we were getting what we hoped). Someone that had become a vital part to what we were doing." Payton lamented the role the surface played in Winston's injury saying, it was "a classic field-turf injury. I don't think that happens on grass, I know right now the data says a player is 28% more likely to have a player injured when we play on artificial surfaces, and I think this was one of those cases."
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