The Saints are planning to turn to Andy Dalton for a second straight week. Jameis Winston will be held out again, according to Dennis Allen. The New Orleans starting quarterback remains down due to back and ankle issues.
Winston played earlier this season with four fractures in his back, leading to obvious concerns about his status going forward. Allen said after the Saints’ Week 3 loss in Carolina he was not considering sidelining his starter, but this will mark back-to-back starts for Dalton since those comments.
Michael Thomas will also miss the Saints’ Week 5 matchup against the Seahawks. Thomas missed New Orleans’ London game due to a foot injury. Sunday will double as Thomas’ 27th missed game since September 2020. The All-Pro wide receiver missed two games during his first four NFL seasons.
Dalton, 34, went 20 of 28 for 236 yards and a touchdown against the Vikings. The Saints signed the former Bengals, Cowboys and Bears quarterback weeks into free agency, giving the 12th-year veteran a one-year, $3MM deal. That move has proven to be rather important, as Winston has encountered more health issues. Dalton gives the Saints a better safety net compared to the ones Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill provided.
Prior to his ACL tear, Winston injury updates were uncommon. Following his Tampa Bay availability, however, Winston has been unable to stay on the field with New Orleans. The former No. 1 overall pick re-signed with the Saints on a somewhat surprising two-year, $28MM deal ($15.2MM guaranteed) this offseason. He had discussed terms with the Colts, but his Saints recommitment came after Indianapolis traded for Matt Ryan, thus narrowing Winston’s options. Sunday stands to mark Winston’s 12th missed game since becoming the Saints’ post-Drew Brees starter.