Sep 11, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara (41) prepares for a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Saints RB Alvin Kamara (ribs) sits out practice

New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara did not practice on Thursday, raising questions about his availability for this weekend’s game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Kamara, who is dealing with ailing ribs, is trending in the wrong direction after being listed as a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice.

Kamara recorded nine carries for 39 yards in New Orleans’ 27-26 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Kamara has rushed for 4,277 yards and 47 touchdowns and caught 376 passes for 3,270 yards and 20 scores in 74 career games (46 starts) with the Saints.

Fellow running backs Mark Ingram, Dwayne Washington and Tony Jones Jr. likely would see an uptick in their respective workloads should Kamara sit out against the Buccaneers (1-0).

Like Ingram (ankle) and Washington (hamstring), quarterback Jameis Winston (back), defensive end Cameron Jordan (hip), wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith (shoulder), cornerback Alonte Taylor (hip) and tackle Landon Young (hip) were also listed as limited in practice on Thursday.

Cornerback Paulson Adebo (ankle) sat out practice on Thursday. He did not play in New Orleans’ season-opening game.

–Field Level Media

Jul 29, 2022; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) works during training camp at Ochsner Sports Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Saints QB Jameis Winston (foot) leaves practice early

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston tweaked his foot during practice on Monday and left the session early.

“He went in for some evaluation, I don’t have any update on that,” Saints head coach Dennis Allen said. “Kind of rolling out, I think it was in the 7-on-7 period, he kind of felt it tweak a little bit and so we wanted to go in and get evaluated.”

Winston is making a comeback from a torn ACL he suffered on Oct. 31 last season. He was 5-2 as the new starter under center in the post-Drew Brees era.

NFL Network reported over the weekend that Winston is progressing well but not yet at 100 percent.

Winston signed a two-year deal worth $28 million in March. The contract included $21 million guaranteed.

The No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, Winston was cast aside before the 2020 season when the Buccaneers lured Tom Brady to Tampa in free agency and went on to win the franchise’s second Super Bowl.

Winston turned 28 in January. In 83 career games, he has 20,982 passing yards, 135 touchdown passes and 91 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) passes against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Saints view Jameis Winston as possible 2022 starting QB

The New Orleans Saints are still looking at Jameis Winston as their possible starting quarterback in 2022, general manager Mickey Loomis said Thursday.

Winston started the first seven games for New Orleans last season before tearing the ACL in his left knee against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 31. He’s still rehabilitating from his injury but figures to draw a lot of interest when free agency starts on March 16.

“Hopefully we can get something done with one of the guys that’s available,” Loomis said at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. “Jameis is certainly an option for us, and hopefully we’re an option for him as well. We’ll go through the process here and see what happens.”

Winston stepped in after Drew Brees retired following the 2020 season and threw for 1,170 yards and 14 touchdowns, with three interceptions, before being injured. The reduction in picks stood out after Winston tossed an NFL-worst 30 for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019 in his previous season as a starter.

New Orleans used three other starters at quarterback while going 9-8 in 2021. Taysom Hill started five games, Trevor Siemian made four starts and Ian Book received one.

The Saints own the No. 18 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. They could look for a quarterback, but Loomis didn’t sound overly enthusiastic about that possibility.

“When you’re picking in the latter half of the draft, you just don’t know what’s going to fall to you No. 1, so it’s hard to target someone,” Loomis said. “Even if you decide you want to make a move forward, you’re limited in that — moving from where we’re at, at No. 18, into the top eight or 10 picks is really difficult, it’s expensive in terms of the draft capital that you have to give up. It can happen — it’s not impossible — but it’s pretty difficult to predict.”

It’s possible that no quarterbacks will be off the board when the Saints choose at No. 18, if they keep that draft position. Liberty’s Malik Willis, Pitt’s Kenny Pickett and Matt Corral of Mississippi are considered the top quarterback prospects. North Carolina’s Sam Howell could go late in the first round.

Nevada’s Carson Strong and Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder could be available in the second round, when the Saints have the No. 47 overall pick.

–Field Level Media

Jan 9, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) jogs on the field prior to a AFC Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

QB Philip Rivers says he’ll listen if Saints call

Retired NFL quarterback Philip Rivers said he’ll listen if the New Orleans Saints give him a call.

Rivers, 39, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday he has not heard from the Saints, who lost starter Jameis Winston to a season-ending knee injury on Sunday.

Trevor Siemian relieved Winston in the 36-27 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

New Orleans hopes to get Taysom Hill back from a concussion this week and also has rookie Ian Book available.

The Saints (5-2) host the Atlanta Falcons (3-4) on Sunday.

Rivers ranks fifth in NFL history in passing yards (63,440) and sixth in touchdown passes (421). The eight-time Pro Bowl selection compiled a 134-106 record in 17 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2004-19) and Indianapolis Colts (2020).

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) stands over center against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Saints’ Jameis Winston (torn ACL) out for season

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston sustained a torn ACL and is done for the season, coach Sean Payton announced Monday.

An MRI confirmed the expected worst for Winston, who also endured damage to his MCL as well.

Winston was injured on a scramble in the second quarter when he was tackled awkwardly by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White, who was penalized for a horse-collar tackle.

Winston had to be helped to the sideline after being unable to walk off by himself. He was then carted back to the locker room.

Trevor Siemian replaced Winston for the Saints (5-2), who held on for a 36-27 win over the Bucs.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans’ No. 2 quarterback, was unavailable on Sunday as he remains in concussion protocol after being injured three weeks ago.

“He’s progressing well. He’s on schedule,” Payton said of Hill.

Winston completed 6 of 10 passes for 56 yards and rushed four times for 40 yards before exiting. Siemian closed out the win by completing 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.

Winston spent his first five NFL seasons with Tampa Bay. He is in his second campaign with the Saints.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;   New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) scrambles against Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Saints QB Jameis Winston (knee) carted to locker room vs. Bucs

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston left Sunday’s game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a knee injury and was later ruled out for the game by the club.

Winston, a former Buc, was injured on a scramble in the second quarter when he was tackled awkwardly by Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White, who was penalized for a horse-collar tackle.

Winston had to be helped to the sideline after being unable to walk off by himself. He was then carted back to the locker room.

Trevor Siemian replaced Winston. Taysom Hill, New Orleans’ No. 2 quarterback, was unavailable as he remains in concussion protocol after being injured three weeks ago.

Winston had thrown a 16-yard touchdown to Tre’Quan Smith to tie the score at seven. Winston completed 6 of 10 passes for 56 yards and rushed four times for 40 yards before exiting.

Winston spent his first five NFL seasons with Tampa Bay. He is in his second campaign with the Saints.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Saints, Packers set for unique encounter in Jacksonville

Recent meetings between the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers were defined by meetings between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.

But things will be different when the Saints and the Packers open the season Sunday afternoon with Jameis Winston starting for New Orleans in his team’s home opener played in Jacksonville, Fla.

Brees has retired to the broadcast booth and Rodgers is back with the Packers after an offseason of acrimony.

New to the equation is a neutral-site feel with the clash of expected NFC contenders moved from the Superdome after the Saints evacuated New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Ida late last month.

“Every time you go into New Orleans you know it’s going to be rocking and you know you’re going to have to have a silent count and hand signals in critical situations like third down, red zone and two minute,” Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said. “We might alter our process in that regard depending on how loud it is in Jacksonville.”

Both fan bases have a history or traveling well to see their teams away from home. The location and the weather conditions could favor New Orleans.

“You can’t replicate those (hot and humid) conditions (in Wisconsin),” LaFleur said. “I guess we could go inside and crank up the heat, but I don’t want our guys practicing on turf all week long.”

Rodgers’ public dissatisfaction with the Packers organization — namely general manager Brian Gutekunst — seems to have been at least diluted since the two sides agreed to an adjusted contract during the offseason.

“He’s playing at a really high level,” LaFleur said of Rodgers, the 2020 NFL MVP. “He’s in a really good mindset and has the right mentality. He’s done a really good job of leading these younger players.”

For the first time since 2005, the Saints are being led by a quarterback other than Brees. Winston, signed as a free agent before last season, beat out former Packer Taysom Hill in a preseason battle.

“He’s done a great job and he’s earned that spot,” coach Sean Payton said of Winston. “I know I’ve seen growth and someone who was extremely vested in this process and is excited about the start of the season.”

Hill, who slimmed down during the offseason in anticipation of focusing on being a quarterback, shifts back to the jack-of-all-trades role in which he has thrived since being claimed off waivers from Green Bay at the end of the 2017 preseason.

He has seen snaps at quarterback as a dual threat, also aligning at running back, wide receiver, tight end and on special teams during his career.

“We’ll look closely into finding ways to help Jameis play well and we’ll also look closely at finding ways to utilize Taysom and finding where to play him,” Payton said. “They’re both real good football players and we’re going to need both of them this year.”

The Saints canceled their final preseason game, which was scheduled against Arizona in the Superdome on Aug. 29, the day before Ida made landfall. They have been in the Dallas-Forth Worth area and conducted their game-week preparations at TCU.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) looks towards the score board during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Saints pick QB Jameis Winston as starter

Jameis Winston won the quarterback competition with the New Orleans Saints over Taysom Hill and will start Week 1, according to multiple reports.

The Saints are attempting to replace Drew Brees at the position and had a lot to like in reviewing Winston’s performance Monday night, when he completed 9 of his first 10 passes with two touchdowns.

Winston, 27, joined the Saints last season as a backup and re-signed in free agency for $5.5 million — $5 million less than Hill’s annual contract will pay him in 2021.

Winston was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft and previously played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers moved on from Winston after he threw 30 interceptions in 2019. That same season, Winston had 30 touchdown passes and led the NFL in passing yards.

Hill is also used as a wide receiver and tight end and has had a role on gadget plays.

When Brees missed seven games in 2020, head coach Sean Payton opted to start Hill.

The Saints kick off the 2021 season against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 12.

–Field Level Media

Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) waits for the snap against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston makes case to be Saints’ QB in win over Jags

Jameis Winston made a strong statement to be the New Orleans Saints’ starting quarterback, throwing for a pair of touchdowns in a 23-21 preseason win over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

The competition to replace Saints legend Drew Brees is a two-man race between the strong-armed Winston, who went 9 of 10 for 123 yards, and the versatile Taysom Hill, who was 11 of 20 for 138 yards with a score.

Jacksonville (0-2) also has yet to name a starting quarterback for Week 1. Trevor Lawrence, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, completed 14 of 23 for 113 yards without a touchdown or an interception. Gardner Minshew II went 13 of 21 for 149 yards with a pick.

Marquez Callaway caught both touchdown passes from Winston — a terrific 43-yard grab on the opening drive of the game and an impressive one-handed reception from 29 yards out late in the first quarter. Hill’s TD pass also was a well-thrown ball, with Lil’Jordan Humphrey snagging the 14-yard strike late in the third for the Saints (1-1).

Jacksonville’s C.J. Beathard threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final six minutes of the contest to trim the final margin.

–Field Level Media