sports

New Orleans Saints not considering QB change despite 1-2 start

CHARLOTTE, NC — New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen said the team isn’t considering changing quarterbacks despite their offensive struggles and inconsistency.

Quarterback Jameis Winston is suffering from a back injury he described as a “transverse fracture” during the Fox game broadcast. Winston said he was in pain and wore four layers of protection and a custom backplate against the Panthers.

He also said, according to the Fox reporter, that “every time he presses on his psoas muscle, it makes him very hard when he puts weight on his back foot.”

The Saints have struggled to move the ball in all three of their games except in the fourth quarters against the Falcons and Panthers. Thirty-eight of their 51 points this season have come in the fourth quarter.

“No, no. We all have to play better,” Allen said. “I’m not trying to single out anything, obviously we have to make some corrections and we have to do a better job as a group.”

The Saints didn’t score until 12:31 into the fourth quarter. Running back Alvin Kamara lost a fumble in the first quarter and the Saints blocked a field goal. Kicker Wil Lutz also missed a 48-yard field goal attempt.

“I think everyone, when you find yourself in these situations, is kind of looking for a place to blame,” Allen said. “There are enough mistakes for everyone, I don’t really want to go there. I feel confident with Jameis. Certainly we all have to do better and that’s what we’re going to do. “

The Saints face numerous injuries in attack. They lost four offensive players during the game after guard Andrus Peat and wide receivers Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry and Michael Thomas left with injuries. The team was already missing tight end Taysom Hill and wide receiver Deonte Harty.

Winston has had the biggest spotlight this season due to numerous injuries, as he entered training camp to recover from a torn ACL last year, sprained his foot during the pre-season, then injured his back in Week 1. The ankle issue showed up on the injury report this week.

“Certainly he’s a competitor, he’s a fighter, he’s tough,” Allen said. “Yeah, he fights through certain things. And that’s part of football.”

Winston declined to give details of his back injury publicly, although he said it would heal and not be something he would deal with all season.

He maintained a positive public attitude although at one point in the game on Sunday he appeared visibly upset on the sidelines after looking at the tablet with quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry and backup quarterback Andy Dalton.

Winston got up from the bench and started walking away before another assistant coach called him back. He returned to Curry but then walked away and was seen talking to the offensive line shortly after.

“I was trying to keep my cool. It was probably a reaction to something I saw on the screens or something,” Winston said. “I don’t think it escalated from there. Appearances can be very deceiving.”

Winston has completed 63.5% of his passes this season for 858 yards, 4 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. He has been sacked 11 times.

“This team, this organization has been here before, so we’re going to find a way to persevere, to run,” Winston said. “Look, assess yourself and find a way to improve.”

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