Jameis Winston has ACL, MCL damage that ends his season

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Jameis Winston
(Photo: Parker Waters)

A satisfying New Orleans win over Tom Brady and Tampa Bay did not come without a price.

Saints quarterback Jameis Winston suffered a serious knee injury Sunday against the Buccaneers, with NFL Network first reporting ACL and MCL damage.

Saints coach Sean Payton said postgame that the injury was “significant” and confirmed the ACL injury Monday.

It means New Orleans must move forward without their starting quarterback.

Trevor Siemian came on in relief of Winston to help New Orleans win. Taysom Hill, who lost the battle with Winston for the job in the preseason, missed a second straight game with a concussion.

New Orleans Saints Tackle Ryan Ramczyk
Virtual Media Availability
Monday, November 1, 2021

Can you just describe the team’s mindset if you have to go forward with a different quarterback base based on the prognosis for Jameis Winston?
“Yeah, you know, obviously, tough injury for Jameis. But I think we’re confident as a group going forward, you know, whatever the coaching staff decides, whoever the quarterback is, you know, we all got our jobs to do and we’re gonna go forward and move confidently with whatever Q (quarterback) is behind us.”

How does the team handle a change in quarterback during the game?
“Obviously you hate seeing your quarterback go down. But at the end of the day, it’s football, there are injuries in football and it has to be a next man up mentality. We had a ton of confidence with Trevor (Siemian) coming and I think he played really well. We have confidence in him and whoever’s back there, so we got to go out and do our job at the end of the day.”

What were some of the things that you saw from Trevor Siemian at practice that made you feel confident he could come out and play the way he did yesterday?
“He has been in this league for a while now and I think he has got experience and he is a good quarterback. Obviously, during the week we don’t get a ton of reps with them, it was a little bit of a different feel. But I thought he played well. I thought he got rid of the ball well, passed the ball well and I thought he commanded the huddle and he jumped in there and did not seem timid or nervous and commanded everything really good.”
How long did it take to establish a rhythm with Trevor Siemian once he came in?
“No, I don’t think so. Upfront we got to do our jobs and we get the play call and honestly it doesn’t matter who’s back there, we’re worried about what we’re doing upfront and like I said, will block for whoever and I think as far as a rhythm we didn’t get out of one and we just kept going.”

I saw a pretty remarkable stat and it said Tampa Bay blitz 22 times and you didn’t allow a pressure on any of them which was which was like a record in the next gen stats era. What went into your successful blitz pickup last night and was that something you guys were on alert for and expected to see so much of?
“Yeah, obviously they did pressure a lot, we kind of knew that going in that they were a high pressure team. And I think all week our offensive line coaches did a great job getting us ready for it, making a couple different tweaks in our protection plan. So I think our communication was great up front and like you saw, I think we did a really good job in handling all the different pressures that they throw.”

The Saints put up the most rushing yards on Tampa that they have given up on the season. What are your thoughts on that?
“I think we did well. They had a heavy front out there most of the time and I think we blocked it up well. Obviously there’s some corrections that I personally would like to get back and I know there’s some that the guys would like to get back too. I think Coach Payton did a good job in sticking with the run and believing in us and I think we were able to get it going a little bit and that’s something we take a lot of pride in, is getting that ground game going. I was overall happy with how it went yesterday.”

Does having Mark Ingram back play any part in all of that?
“Obviously I was here with Mark (Ingram) before and great personality, great player and obviously love having him back on the squad and he brings a lot of energy and excitement to the game, as well as his athleticism and ability on the field. So (it’s) definitely great to have him back.”

Can you talk about the offensive line being able to plug and play some many different guys in the starting lineup and James Hurst specifically yesterday?
“Yeah, James has done a great job all year, kind of filling in where he needs playing jumbo, guard, tackle. He has done a phenomenal job and we watch the film and he’s played really well. I think our whole offensive line has a ton of confidence in him and he’s proven that he can play. And I think, as a whole, we’re excited moving forward and confident moving forward with who we got up there.”

How did Trevor Siemian command the huddle yesterday?
“I think I kind of touched on it earlier, but he commanded the huddle great. There was no sense of nervousness or anything. It looked like he had been there before and he definitely had confidence going into it. I think he did a great job.”

New Orleans Saints Defensive End Tanoh Kpassagnon
Virtual Media Availability
Monday, November 1, 2021

What did you think of that atmosphere yesterday?
“It was amazing. I definitely felt the crowd presence last night. When they step on the field, they get loud. You feel the noise.”

What have you liked most about the line so far? It seems like you have a good rotation and the ability as a group to apply a lot of pressure?
“Like you were saying, I like the rotation. I think we all have key roles, whoever’s in and our (position) coach (Ryan Nielsen) does a really good job of spreading the playtime, putting the guys in the best opportunities to make plays and execute.”

When you are coming up with sacks, do you get a feel from playing that you think you have felt things out or does it kind of happen organically?
“It kind of happens both ways and especially towards the end of the game, you work a guy throughout a game towards the end of the game, you have given him so much of a certain look and that’s something me and the coaches do. We like to switch that look up. We’re always playing around with that.”

The last couple weeks you guys have been getting home a little bit more, is that just getting Marcus Davenport and David Onyemata back? How do you kind of do that?
“Those guys contribute so much to our defense and they’re playmakers and you see that when they step on the field. Having those guys back, kind of helped rise the energy of our defense. They’re been helping us out all offseason. They’re been with us throughout since I’ve been here. They’re been such key contributors. Off the field they’ve helped me out learn this defense and they’re staples.”

When Jameis Winston goes down early in the game, does the defense at that point kind of take it upon itself to uplift the offense?
“I’ve seen Jameis just come in and put so much work and extra time in on and off the field. When you see him go down, you feel like you almost owe it to him to win this game or pull it out for him, pull it out for everybody on the team, we play for each other and it’s awesome here. That’s what I’ve felt since I’ve been here.”

What is it about the defensive mentality to want to be on the field, to close out a game like you guys have been able to do the past few games?
“We think every game is on us. We like that pressure, that accountability. We know everyone on our defense is ready to step up when our time comes. We have been tested a lot this season and this game was a big test for us. I’m proud that we were able to come through.”

What do you think is behind the big takeaway numbers you guys have put up this year, forcing two or three a game?
“It’s our defense obviously. The disguises with our backfield and just the pressure up front, we’re able to make quarterbacks throw off balance with some of the pressure we give them up front or the coverage they have in the backfield with us being able to get to the quarterback, so it is awesome that we have been able to work together that way. We just have dogs back there. One thing we emphasize on defense is the turnover battle and that’s something we emphasized this week for sure. The guys you saw make plays, were guys who made them in practice. It was awesome to see this come to light in the game.

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