METAIRIE, La — New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen said he would be comfortable with quarterback Jameis Winston sitting out all three preseason games if necessary.
If Winston doesn’t play in Friday night’s preseason finale against the Chargers, his first game snaps since his ACL tear last Halloween will come in Atlanta against the Falcons on Sept. 11.
“We’ll see. If that’s the way it plays out, then yeah, I’m comfortable with it,” Allen said Monday. “We’ll see how things play out over the next few days.”
Winston missed the first two preseason games with a sprained right foot but has taken two major steps toward recovery in the past two days. Winston returned to 7-on-7 drills Sunday and returned to 11-on-11 drills Monday.
Winston has not participated in full-team drills since Aug. 6. He injured his foot while rolling out in the 7-on-7 portion of the Saints’ Aug. 8 practice and left before team drills began. Backup quarterback Andy Dalton took snaps in place of Winston that day and has been taking the first-team reps in 11-on-11 work since Winston’s injury.
Winston participated in three sets of team drills Monday, including a goal line period. He finished 1-of-6 and was picked off by cornerback C.J. Gardner-Johnson on his first rep.
He was also sacked by defensive end Payton Turner. Winston’s lone completion was to wide receiver Jarvis Landry on his final set of team drills.
“It was good. It was good. A little rusty but yet good to get him back out there and get him going again,” Allen said.”
Dalton took over the first-team reps during the last period, which was a two-minute situation toward the end of practice.
Wide receiver Michael Thomas missed practice for the second day in a row with a hamstring injury. Thomas has not played in any preseason games due to the ankle injury that kept him out all of last season, but he had been participating in practice until this week.
“He’ll be back out here as soon as he’s ready to go,” Allen said.
Cornerback Marshon Lattimore and tight end Taysom Hill were also on a large list of players who were not in attendance Monday.
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