Saints’ Jameis Winston ruled out vs. Vikings; Andy Dalton starting

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston has been ruled out for Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium because of a back injury, the team announced Saturday.

Veteran Andy Dalton will make his first start for the Saints after taking all the first-team snaps this week. Winston was considered doubtful 

Winston has been playing through a back injury but was held out of practice all week ahead of the NFL’s first international game of the season. The eighth-year quarterback also is nursing an ankle injury and was considered doubtful heading into the weekend.

“I don’t think his body responded didn’t quite the way we anticipated over the first couple of days,” Saints coach Dennis Allen said.

Earlier in the week, Winston said he was preparing to play against the Vikings.

Allen also confirmed that wide receiver Michael Thomas will miss Sunday’s game because of a foot injury. He leads the team with three touchdown receptions.

Winston has thrown for 858 yards with four TD passes and five interceptions in three games. He has completed 63.5% of his passes.

Dalton stepped in to start nine games for the Cowboys in 2020 after Dallas starter Dak Prescott’s season-ending ankle injury in Week 5. That season, Dalton completed 64.9% of his passes, throwing for 2,170 yards with 14 TDs and eight interceptions.

The Saints are Dalton’s fourth team in as many years after he spent his first nine seasons as a starter for the Cincinnati Bengals.

Last year, Dalton appeared in eight games and made six starts for Chicago, completing 63.1% of his passes for 1,515 yards with eight touchdowns and nine interceptions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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