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Saints’ Allen sticking with Winston as starting QB


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen said the team is not considering a quarterback change despite its offensive struggles and inconsistency.

Quarterback Jameis Winston is dealing with a back injury that he described as a “transverse fracture” to the Fox game broadcast. Winston said he was in pain and wearing four layers of protection and a custom backplate against the Panthers.

He also said, according to Fox’s sideline reporter, that “every time it presses down on his psoas muscle it makes it really hard when he applies weight on his back foot.”

The Saints have struggled to move the ball in their three 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 looking to single anything out, obviously we’ve got to make some corrections and we’ve got to do a better job as a group.”

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

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

The Saints are dealing with numerous injuries on offense. 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 already was missing tight end Taysom Hill and wide receiver Deonte Harty.

Winston has had the biggest spotlight this season due to numerous injuries, as he came into training camp recovering from last year’s torn ACL, sprained his foot during the preseason and then injured his back in Week 1. The ankle issue appeared on the injury report this week.

“Certainly, he’s a competitor, he’s a battler, he’s tough,” Allen said. “Yeah, he’s fighting through some things. And that’s part of playing football.”

Winston has declined to elaborate on his back injury publicly, although he said it will heal and won’t be something he deals with the entire season.

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

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

“I was trying to keep my poise. It was probably a reaction to something I saw on the screens or something,” Winston said. “I don’t think it escalated from there. Looks 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, get on a run,” Winston said. “Look in, assess ourselves and find a way to get better.”


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