By KEN MAGUIRE, AP Sports Writer
LONDON (AP) — Saints quarterback Jameis Winston is “doubtful” to play New Orleans’ game against the Minnesota Vikings at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium because of a back injury, coach Dennis Allen said Friday.
Backup Andy Dalton took first-team snaps again with Winston missing a third consecutive practice.
“I think it’s doubtful that Jameis plays in the game,” Allen said. “Our plan right now is to have Andy ready to go. We’ll see how things go overnight, but Andy will be ready to go if that’s the direction that we go.”
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.
“I don’t think his body responded didn’t quite the way we anticipated over the first couple of days,” 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.
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