New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton confirmed that quarterback Jameis Winston tore the ACL in his left knee and suffered a MCL damage. Winston suffered the season-ending injury in the second quarter of this Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Buccaneers linebacker Devin White pulled a horse-collar tackle on Winston, causing the quarterback to land awkwardly and suffered a tough injury. Backup quarterback Trevor Siemian stepped up for the injured Winston and led the Saints to a 36-27 win, Payton will now take his time before he decides between Siemian and Taysom Hill.
In 2020, the Saints went 3-1 with Hill as a starter. Payton stated multiple times that the Saints won't bring a new quarterback in the absence of Winston. "We're satisfied with the quarterback room," Payton said of a group that also includes rookie fourth-round draft pick Ian Book.
Hill is recovering well but he may be not available this week. "He's doing well. He's progressing. He's on schedule. And all that's good," Payton said of Hill's recovery. However, when asked if Hill will be ready to play this week, Payton said, "We'll see."
Siemian did a great job of replacing Winston
Siemian stepped up really well after Winston went down and led the Saints to a victory over the defending champions. "We're gonna look closely at what's best for our team in this game.
And as the week progresses, we'll see how we want to play it out. And we'll be ready to play Sunday," said Payton, who said the first phase of the game plan is usually formulated by the end of Tuesday night. "We'll grind away at the plan, pay attention to the information we're getting from the training room, all of that, and be ready to go."
Siemian threw for 159 yards, one touchdown and zero interceptions after replacing Winston. "Man, he did a good job," Payton said after reviewing the tape on Monday. "There were a number of plays where he's got a free rusher and he gets the ball out on time.
I thought he played with poise and made good decisions. It's what you want someone to do that's coming into the game really without a lot of work, and I thought he handled the situation well. The tape was good for him."
Payton thought Winston's injury was "a classic field-turf injury." "I don't think that happens on grass," Payton said. "I know right now the data says a player is 28% more likely to have a player injured when we play on artificial surfaces, and I think this was one of those cases."