Jameis Winston always expected that he’d get his starting job back in New Orleans.
Yet on Sunday, the Saints are sticking with backup Andy Dalton for at least another week.
Dalton took over for Winston last month due to back and foot injuries Winston was dealing with, and he’s kept the job ever since. Though Dalton hasn’t been great, and Winston said he’s healthy enough to play, coach Dennis Allen isn’t ready to switch the quarterbacks back just yet.
“I lost my job due to injury, and the policy has always been you don’t lose your job due to injury,” Winston said Friday, via ESPN. “And that’s what happened.”
Winston started the first three games of the season for the Saints, though he was dealing with his ankle injury and lingering back pain after their season opener. He threw for 858 yards and four touchdowns with five interceptions in those three games before the Saints swapped Dalton in to let Winston heal up.
Dalton has been in ever since, going 2-5 while throwing for 1,559 yards with 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
The Saints will enter Sunday’s game with the Los Angeles Rams on a two game losing skid. Their only win in the past five games came against the struggling Las Vegas Raiders.
Yet at least for now, Dalton will keep his job as a starter.
Though he clearly doesn’t think what led to his extended backup position is totally fair, Winston insists he’s not shutting down.
“I'll handle what's going on right now, and when that time comes for me to eventually come back on the field, which hopefully it will, I'm going to support Andy, I'm going to support this offense, I'm going to support everyone on this offensive staff the best I possibly can, and that's it," Winston said, via ESPN. "Because, like I said, I wear that shirt that says, 'Big team, little me,' even though it hurts my heart. It hurts my soul the way things have turned out to be this year, but it is what it is.
"I owe it to this team to be in the role that I'm [in] right now, to this offense, to everyone. I apologize to the fans. I know some of them want to see me out there. But I think winning makes a lot of things better, so we need to go out there and start with this week, get a win as a team. No one person makes a team win. We need to get a team win and I think we'll all be better at the end of the day."