Jameis Winston completed his only pass attempt for a 56-yard touchdown in the Saints' 30-20 loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday. Winston came in for one play midway through the second quarter and found a wide-open Tre'Quan Smith for a 56-yard score. Winston's future is uncertain in New Orleans, especially with rumors of Drew Brees' retirement floating around. Even if Brees does decide to call it a career, Winston would still face competition from Taysom Hill for the starting job if the Saints re-sign him.
The Saints reinstated Winston from the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, Larry Holder of The Athletic reports. Winston was added to the list Sunday after being deemed a close contact of a person infected with the virus, but after self-isolating and testing negative over the last several days, he's been cleared to rejoin the Saints. The quarterback has presumably been staying connected with the Saints through virtual meetings during the team's Week 16 prep, so Winston could be available to back up Drew Brees in Friday's game against the Vikings.
The Saints placed Winston on the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday, making him ineligible to play Week 15 versus the Chiefs, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports. The NFL announced no new positive COVID-19 tests earlier Sunday, so Winston may have been deemed a close contact of an infected person or persons. Regardless, the timing of Winston's move to the list leaves Taysom Hill as the only backup option at quarterback behind starter Drew Brees (shoulder), who was reinstated from injured reserve Saturday following a four-game absence. Hill, who had started in place of Brees, was poised to fill a "jack-of-all-trades" role Week 15, while the Saints had planned on having Winston serve as Brees' direct backup.
Winston is slated to work as the No. 2 quarterback behind Drew Brees (ribs/lung) in Sunday's game against the Chiefs, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports. Brees will be back in action after the Saints activated him from injured reserve Saturday following a four-week absence due to a punctured lung and multiple rib fractures. While Brees was sidelined, Taysom Hill started each of the Saints' four games, but he'll move back into a "jack-of-all-trades" role in Week 15 that includes Wildcat quarterback packages and special-teams work. The fact that Winston is operating as the No. 2 signal-caller Sunday shouldn't be taken as a sign that he would be the next man up in the event of another Brees absence; instead, the Saints likely just wanted Hill to prepare for his multi-faceted role in practices this week once it became apparent Brees would be ready to return from IR.
Winston will serve as the backup to Taysom Hill during Sunday's game against the Falcons, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Winston was thrust into action after Drew Brees (chest) exited last weekend's win over San Francisco, but he was lackluster in completing just six of 10 pass attempts for 63 yards despite playing the entire second half. Coach Sean Payton has since elected to allow Hill the entire portion of starting reps at practice, and Schefter reports that Winston won't be involved in any offensive packages against the Falcons -- two hints suggesting the decision to roll with Hill under center is a firm one. Even with Brees on track to miss at least 2-to-3 weeks, it looks like Winston may not get another chance to enter the lineup unless Hill really struggles.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
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