Jameis Winston To Play In Saints’ Preseason Finale

Jameis Winston has slowly been making progress towards a return to game action. That process will reach another crucial milestone tonight, as he is expected to play “in some capacity” during tonight’s preseason finale against the Chargers (Twitter link via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler). 

Winston was elevated to the No. 1 role as Drew Brees‘ successor last season, and had an encouraging start to his return as starting quarterback. He won five of his seven starts, throwing 14 touchdowns, three interceptions and posting a passer rating of 102.8. A torn ACL ended his season, however, and derailed the Saints’ offense.

After New Orleans struck out on trading for Deshaun Watson, they turned back to the former No. 1 pick on a two-year deal. Since then, his rehab has been one of the team’s key offseason storylines. During OTAs, it was reported that a return to full health in time for Week 1 was the goal for all parties involved; today’s news would certainly represent another sign of progress that that could happen.

Most recently, the 28-year-old was seen practicing without a knee brace, something which will be noteworthy in the context of his mobility during tonight’s game. He is unlikely to see much playing time, but any snaps in live action will of course be a welcomed sight for the team and an important measuring stick with respect to his regular season readiness.

Come September, Winston will have a healthy Michael Thomas available at the top of a WR depth chart which also includes first-round rookie Chris Olave and free agent signing Jarvis Landry. That quartet should give the Saints significant upside on offense, presuming Winston is able to finalize his rehab in time.

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