Saints backup quarterback Andy Dalton is preparing to face Kirk Cousins again in London.
Dalton is expected to lead the Saints’ offense Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after New Orleans cast doubt on Jameis Winston’s participation in the game.
Dalton trained again with the starting team on Friday and Winston missed practice for the third straight time due to a back injury.
“I’ll be ready in case they mention my number,” Dalton said. “I’ve been in this situation before, where you’re the backup and you have to come in and play.”
The team’s injury report included Winston (back/ankle) as in doubt for the NFL season’s first game overseas, while wide receiver Michael Thomas (foot), offensive guard Andrus Peat (concussion), and safety Marcus Maye (rib) were ruled out.
Dennis Allen, in his first year managing the Saints, said they “will decide until the last minute, but I think it’s doubtful” that Winston will play.
“Our plan right now is to prepare Andy to play,” Allen said. “He’s performed at a high level in our league and that’s really one of the main reasons we brought him in, if we need him at all, we feel very confident that he can come in and do the job.”
Winston has played despite dealing with a back injury he suffered in the first game of the season, but was unable to practice all week.
“I don’t think his body responded the way we expected during the early days,” Allen said.
Earlier in the week, Winston signaled that he is preparing to face the Vikings.
Winston has thrown for 858 yards with four touchdown passes and five interceptions in three games. He has completed 63.5% of his passes.
Dalton started nine games for the Cowboys in 2020 after an ankle injury ended Dak Prescott’s season in round five. That season, Dalton completed 64.9% of his passes, throwing for 2,170 yards with 14 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
The Saints are Dalton’s fourth team in the same number of years after spending his first nine seasons as a starter for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Last year, Dalton appeared in eight games and started six times for Chicago, completing 63.1% of his passes for 1,515 yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.