Jameis Winston became a starting quarterback again last season, but it lasted only seven games. He injured his knee in an Oct. 31 game against the Buccaneers, requiring season-ending surgery.
With Winston rehabbing and a free agent, the offseason began with uncertainty about the Saints’ starting quarterback for 2022. The Saints, though, didn’t acquire Deshaun Watson and re-signed Winston, so Winston returns for some unfinished business.
“I just got hungrier,” Winston told NFL Media. “I got hungrier, because now it’s just an admiration and a passion I got for the game, but the hunger I had to be back out there with my teammates.”
Winston sat behind Drew Brees in 2020 but sitting and watching the end of last season was different.
“As a kid, my passion was always football. But being taken away from the game, I realized that my passion was playing football,” Winston said. “I just missed playing football, being with my teammates, game-planning. Just attacking the field with them.
“This was my first time in my life where — when I first got to the Saints, I got a chance to sit behind Drew, and took everything slowly — but this was the first time I was not in the building. I was really removed from it.”
Winston is taking his rehab “slowly,” but he expects to return Week 1.
“I know I’m going to be out there ready and prepared to go,” Winston said.
Winston, 28, threw 14 touchdowns, three interceptions, and the Saints had a 5-2 record in Winston’s seven starts.