For a brief couple of hours there on Monday, Jameis Winston gave New Orleans Saints fans a reason to worry.
The starting quarterback, who missed 10 games last year after tearing his ACL, left practice early. And he was limping.
That would give rise to there-goes-the-season-concerns if the injury is serious.
“Jameis went into today with kind of tweaked his foot a little bit,” coach Dennis Allen told reporters after practice. “He went in for some evaluation. I don’t have any update on that but it was kind of rolling out, I think it was in the 7 on 7 period that he kind of felt it tweaked a little bit. So we wanted him to go in and get him evaluated.”
Winston seemed to roll his ankle and it affected his foot. The ankle is fine, a source told OutKick on Monday. The foot was undergoing evaluation although the club is “optimistic” the issue is not serious.
The injury will mean Winston will miss some practice time and the Saints preseason opener. But that’s talking about days, not weeks or months.
Winston escaped without damage that will cause him to miss any regular-season games, so we can say the one-time bust of a quarterback remains on a massive, massive good-tidings roll in 2022.
Because Winston, 27, started to show signs of maturity in both his play and his personal approach to the game last season. And this year he’s simply continued that progress.
“He’s not the same guy he was when he came here in 2020,” a club source told OutKick. “That seems obvious to say because none of us are probably the same as we were two years ago, but he’s really improved in areas that matter.
“He always wanted to work, get better, prove himself and that’s important. Now it’s as if he’s seen the light and he seems to get it. If he stays healthy we might have something.”
For those doing the Lord’s work and keeping statistics of Winston since the start of training camp, the improvement in decision-making, maturity and understanding of what his role is can all be demonstrated in one statistic:
This, you may recall, is a quarterback who threw an NFL high 30 interceptions in 2019. After that year the Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided to move on from Winston, whom they’d drafted with the No. 1 overall selection in 2015.
The Bucs signed Tom Brady for 2020 and won the Super Bowl, a fact that spoke to what Brady brought to the franchise but also what it lacked with Winston at the offense’s helm.
Winston is trying to show he’s not that guy anymore.
“The beautiful thing is he’s mostly trying without drawing attention to himself that he’s trying,” the source said.
Winston is reportedly going about his business. Being a pro. Leading.
And this isn’t just about training camp, by the way, because Winston started showing his leadership gene before camp opened.
You’ll recall he gathered teammates for workouts in Miami before camp began. And although everyone working had a recognizable name and an ego and accomplishments, they all listened when Winston spoke.
He was the alpha.
That was evident when he delivered a nice little speech to end the days of work and send his teammates off to whatever they had planned next.
Winston spoke of family and sacrifice. He spoke to his teammates in a way men with big vision speak.
“We get a chance to create and write our own journey,” he said.
So far this training camp Winston has continued to write a journey toward an impressive season. And so far he’s done it while overcoming an old nemesis or two — turnovers and injury — that would derail the trip.
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