METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — When the New Orleans Saints take the field against the Texans in the team’s preseason opener in Houston on Saturday, they will do so without starting quarterback Jameis Winston.
Winston sprained his right foot during 7-on-7 drills on Monday, so backups Andy Dalton and Ian Book have been taking all the reps the past few days. Unlike second-year pro Ian Book (Notre Dame), Dalton is no stranger to being the man under center having spent 10 of his last 11 seasons as a starter.
The 34-year-old, three-time Pro Bowler joined the Saints after spending nine seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, and then a season each in Dallas and most recently, Chicago.
“We wanted to bring a guy in that was an accomplished veteran player, that’s been a starter in our league, but also been the backup and had to come in in a backup’s role and have success,” explained first-year head coach Dennis Allen on the acquisition of Dalton. “He was a guy that we identified and luckily we were able to get him here.”
Dalton also spoke with media about his role with the team, throwing to All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas and preparing for the preseason opener against the Texans.
The Saints travel to Green Bay next Friday (Aug. 19) for the team’s second preseason game of the season. The final preseason game will be held the following week in the Caesars Superdome against the Los Angeles Chargers (Aug. 26).
The Saints season opener will be in Atlanta against the Falcons on Sept. 11.