Jan 9, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers (17) jogs on the field prior to a AFC Wild Card game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

QB Philip Rivers says he’ll listen if Saints call

Retired NFL quarterback Philip Rivers said he’ll listen if the New Orleans Saints give him a call.

Rivers, 39, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday he has not heard from the Saints, who lost starter Jameis Winston to a season-ending knee injury on Sunday.

Trevor Siemian relieved Winston in the 36-27 victory against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

New Orleans hopes to get Taysom Hill back from a concussion this week and also has rookie Ian Book available.

The Saints (5-2) host the Atlanta Falcons (3-4) on Sunday.

Rivers ranks fifth in NFL history in passing yards (63,440) and sixth in touchdown passes (421). The eight-time Pro Bowl selection compiled a 134-106 record in 17 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers (2004-19) and Indianapolis Colts (2020).

–Field Level Media

Oct 25, 2021; Seattle, Washington, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) stands over center against the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Saints’ Jameis Winston (torn ACL) out for season

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston sustained a torn ACL and is done for the season, coach Sean Payton announced Monday.

An MRI confirmed the expected worst for Winston, who also endured damage to his MCL as well.

Winston was injured on a scramble in the second quarter when he was tackled awkwardly by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White, who was penalized for a horse-collar tackle.

Winston had to be helped to the sideline after being unable to walk off by himself. He was then carted back to the locker room.

Trevor Siemian replaced Winston for the Saints (5-2), who held on for a 36-27 win over the Bucs.

Taysom Hill, New Orleans’ No. 2 quarterback, was unavailable on Sunday as he remains in concussion protocol after being injured three weeks ago.

“He’s progressing well. He’s on schedule,” Payton said of Hill.

Winston completed 6 of 10 passes for 56 yards and rushed four times for 40 yards before exiting. Siemian closed out the win by completing 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.

Winston spent his first five NFL seasons with Tampa Bay. He is in his second campaign with the Saints.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;   New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) scrambles against Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Saints QB Jameis Winston (knee) carted to locker room vs. Bucs

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston left Sunday’s game against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a knee injury and was later ruled out for the game by the club.

Winston, a former Buc, was injured on a scramble in the second quarter when he was tackled awkwardly by Tampa Bay linebacker Devin White, who was penalized for a horse-collar tackle.

Winston had to be helped to the sideline after being unable to walk off by himself. He was then carted back to the locker room.

Trevor Siemian replaced Winston. Taysom Hill, New Orleans’ No. 2 quarterback, was unavailable as he remains in concussion protocol after being injured three weeks ago.

Winston had thrown a 16-yard touchdown to Tre’Quan Smith to tie the score at seven. Winston completed 6 of 10 passes for 56 yards and rushed four times for 40 yards before exiting.

Winston spent his first five NFL seasons with Tampa Bay. He is in his second campaign with the Saints.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) drops back to pass during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Saints, Packers set for unique encounter in Jacksonville

Recent meetings between the New Orleans Saints and the Green Bay Packers were defined by meetings between future Hall of Fame quarterbacks Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.

But things will be different when the Saints and the Packers open the season Sunday afternoon with Jameis Winston starting for New Orleans in his team’s home opener played in Jacksonville, Fla.

Brees has retired to the broadcast booth and Rodgers is back with the Packers after an offseason of acrimony.

New to the equation is a neutral-site feel with the clash of expected NFC contenders moved from the Superdome after the Saints evacuated New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Ida late last month.

“Every time you go into New Orleans you know it’s going to be rocking and you know you’re going to have to have a silent count and hand signals in critical situations like third down, red zone and two minute,” Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said. “We might alter our process in that regard depending on how loud it is in Jacksonville.”

Both fan bases have a history or traveling well to see their teams away from home. The location and the weather conditions could favor New Orleans.

“You can’t replicate those (hot and humid) conditions (in Wisconsin),” LaFleur said. “I guess we could go inside and crank up the heat, but I don’t want our guys practicing on turf all week long.”

Rodgers’ public dissatisfaction with the Packers organization — namely general manager Brian Gutekunst — seems to have been at least diluted since the two sides agreed to an adjusted contract during the offseason.

“He’s playing at a really high level,” LaFleur said of Rodgers, the 2020 NFL MVP. “He’s in a really good mindset and has the right mentality. He’s done a really good job of leading these younger players.”

For the first time since 2005, the Saints are being led by a quarterback other than Brees. Winston, signed as a free agent before last season, beat out former Packer Taysom Hill in a preseason battle.

“He’s done a great job and he’s earned that spot,” coach Sean Payton said of Winston. “I know I’ve seen growth and someone who was extremely vested in this process and is excited about the start of the season.”

Hill, who slimmed down during the offseason in anticipation of focusing on being a quarterback, shifts back to the jack-of-all-trades role in which he has thrived since being claimed off waivers from Green Bay at the end of the 2017 preseason.

He has seen snaps at quarterback as a dual threat, also aligning at running back, wide receiver, tight end and on special teams during his career.

“We’ll look closely into finding ways to help Jameis play well and we’ll also look closely at finding ways to utilize Taysom and finding where to play him,” Payton said. “They’re both real good football players and we’re going to need both of them this year.”

The Saints canceled their final preseason game, which was scheduled against Arizona in the Superdome on Aug. 29, the day before Ida made landfall. They have been in the Dallas-Forth Worth area and conducted their game-week preparations at TCU.

–Field Level Media

Aug 14, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA;  New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) looks towards the score board during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Saints pick QB Jameis Winston as starter

Jameis Winston won the quarterback competition with the New Orleans Saints over Taysom Hill and will start Week 1, according to multiple reports.

The Saints are attempting to replace Drew Brees at the position and had a lot to like in reviewing Winston’s performance Monday night, when he completed 9 of his first 10 passes with two touchdowns.

Winston, 27, joined the Saints last season as a backup and re-signed in free agency for $5.5 million — $5 million less than Hill’s annual contract will pay him in 2021.

Winston was the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft and previously played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers moved on from Winston after he threw 30 interceptions in 2019. That same season, Winston had 30 touchdown passes and led the NFL in passing yards.

Hill is also used as a wide receiver and tight end and has had a role on gadget plays.

When Brees missed seven games in 2020, head coach Sean Payton opted to start Hill.

The Saints kick off the 2021 season against the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 12.

–Field Level Media

Aug 23, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) waits for the snap against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Jameis Winston makes case to be Saints’ QB in win over Jags

Jameis Winston made a strong statement to be the New Orleans Saints’ starting quarterback, throwing for a pair of touchdowns in a 23-21 preseason win over the visiting Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night.

The competition to replace Saints legend Drew Brees is a two-man race between the strong-armed Winston, who went 9 of 10 for 123 yards, and the versatile Taysom Hill, who was 11 of 20 for 138 yards with a score.

Jacksonville (0-2) also has yet to name a starting quarterback for Week 1. Trevor Lawrence, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, completed 14 of 23 for 113 yards without a touchdown or an interception. Gardner Minshew II went 13 of 21 for 149 yards with a pick.

Marquez Callaway caught both touchdown passes from Winston — a terrific 43-yard grab on the opening drive of the game and an impressive one-handed reception from 29 yards out late in the first quarter. Hill’s TD pass also was a well-thrown ball, with Lil’Jordan Humphrey snagging the 14-yard strike late in the third for the Saints (1-1).

Jacksonville’s C.J. Beathard threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final six minutes of the contest to trim the final margin.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws during warm ups prior to kickoff against the San Francisco 49ers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Saints re-sign QB Jameis Winston to 1-year deal

The New Orleans Saints have agreed to a one-year deal with quarterback Jameis Winston for up to $12 million, according to a report from ESPN on Monday night.

Winston, 27, spent last season with the Saints as the backup to Drew Brees. He appeared in four games off the bench, completing 7 of 11 passes for 75 yards.

The Florida State product spent his first five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He threw for a career-high 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2019, but he also led the league with 30 interceptions.

Brees’ retirement this week opened the door for Winston to play a more prominent role in New Orleans in 2021. Another candidate to earn more playing time under center is Taysom Hill, who completed 88 of 121 passes for 928 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions last season.

In a recent podcast appearance with longtime NFL kicker Morten Andersen, Saints coach Sean Payton said he hoped that Winston would return to New Orleans.

“Jameis Winston, we had a good year to work with, and he’s someone — I said it on record already — we’d like to sign back,” Payton said. “I’d like to see him competing to be that guy.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA;  New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) following a win against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints place QB Winston on reserve/COVID-19 list

The New Orleans Saints placed quarterback Jameis Winston on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Sunday morning, just hours before a home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

With the NFL reporting no new positive tests on Sunday morning, Winston potentially was a close contact to someone who tested positive for the virus.

Signed to a one-year, $1.1 million deal before the season, Winston, 26, has appeared in just three games for the Saints, completing 7 of 11 passes for 75 yards.

Winston had been expected to back up starting quarterback Drew Brees, who is returning after recovering from multiple broken ribs.

Taysom Hill, who started four games and went 3-1 in Brees’ absence, figures to be the backup in Winston’s place.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Hill, not Winston, to start for Saints

Versatile New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill will be under center to start this weekend’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, multiple media outlets reported on Friday.

ESPN reported that Hill received all of the starting quarterback reps at practice this week for the Saints (7-2), who bring a six-game winning streak into Sunday’s game with the visiting Falcons (3-6).

Jameis Winston is expected to serve as the backup against Atlanta after playing the majority of the second half in the Saints’ 27-13 victory over San Francisco on Sunday. Winston replaced quarterback Drew Brees, who sustained a collapsed lung and fractured ribs against the 49ers.

Winston was 6-of-10 passing for 63 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions against San Francisco.

Hill, who signed a two-year, $21 million deal in April, is a jack-of-all-trades for the Saints. He has thrown 86 yards on 4-of-5 passing, turned 34 carries into 186 yards and a touchdown, and six catches into 74 yards and another score this season.

Hill, 30, has completed 10 of 18 pass attempts for 205 yards in 46 career games with the Saints. He also has rushed 98 times for 538 yards and four touchdowns and added 28 catches for 312 yards and seven scores.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) throws the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end William Gholston (92) rushes  during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Saints turn to Winston after Brees injures ribs

Jameis Winston replaced Drew Brees at quarterback for the New Orleans Saints to start the second half of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Saints announced Brees was questionable to return because of injured ribs. He absorbed a big hit during the first half, and cameras showed him pointing toward his right torso as he spoke afterward with head coach Sean Payton.

San Francisco defensive tackle Kentavius Street drew a penalty for roughing the passer on the hit that injured Brees. The Saints sent in Taysom Hill at quarterback with Brees lining up wide on the next play, and Hill stayed in for the next play as Brees headed to the sideline.

Brees returned for the following drive, which marked his last action of the half, before he was replaced at halftime. He had a 103.4 passer rating for the first half after completing 8 of 13 passes for 76 yards and a touchdown.

Winston, 26, made his Saints debut one week ago in relief as he completed his only pass attempt for 12 yards.

–Field Level Media