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Andy Dalton takes first-team reps at quarterback with New Orleans Saints offense for second straight day in London

'He knows what we're doing, what the plan is. A lot of confidence in Andy.'

New Orleans Saints held practice in London on Thursday, Sept. 29 ahead of their Sunday game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 of the 2022 NFL season.

The possibility that New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston would practice on Thursday in London dissipated early, with veteran Andy Dalton taking reps with the first-team offense for the second consecutive day.

Winston, who has started the first three games this season for the Saints (1-2), who play Minnesota (2-1) on Sunday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, remains on the injury list with back and ankle injuries.

"I think they're just making what was the best decision for (Jameis) today," Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael said. "It was the plan last week, kind of where he was going to be limited throughout the week. We'll just see where we are at (Friday), but it was just part of the plan as the day unfolded.

"The plan was just to see where he was at day to day, and then see if we could get him out there. So hopefully, it happens tomorrow."

Winston followed a similar plan last week in the lead-up to the Carolina game, but was able to practice on a limited basis last Thursday.

"As part of the plan, he's in the meetings, he's getting the mental reps," Carmichael said. "I think it was a little similar last week, except he was able to get out (Thursday) as opposed to this week. But I think he's preparing, he's in the meeting rooms and watching the film and all the communication that's going to happen, he's a part of."

Dalton, a 12-year veteran who hasn't taken a snap this season, has started 148 of the 152 career games he has played, and has totaled 35,279 passing yards with 226 touchdowns, with 135 interceptions.

"A ton of confidence in him," Carmichael said. "That's why he's here. He's smart, gets in and out of the huddle. He knows what we're doing, what the plan is. A lot of confidence in Andy."

Dalton's teammates expressed similar confidence if he's called upon to play.

"He a great quarterback, too," said safety Tyrann Mathieu, who crossed paths with Dalton at least once in their careers, when Mathieu was an Arizona Cardinal and Dalton was a Cincinnati Bengal, in 2015. "I think when he's in rhythm he can really make every throw, and he can make people look good as well.

"I think another aspect to him is he can move around a little bit. I think his speed is deceiving. If you give him a certain coverage, I think he'll take those eight, nine, 10 yards that you give him. If he's able to play this week, I'm more than certain that all of us really have our confidence in him."

Receiver Marquez Callaway said Dalton's veteran presence will help if he's called upon to play.

"Andy has been in the league longer than probably anybody on the team," Callaway said. "So no one's worried about Andy. Andy knows what to do, he's a veteran, he knows what's at stake, he knows how to make it work and we're going to go out there and make it happen."

As for the possible change at the position, Callaway said the basics apply.

"Everything is different, (but) at the end of the day it's still throw and catch," he said. "We work with both, we work with all the quarterbacks. Only thing about Andy, he doesn't throw it as hard as Jameis. When he wants to throw it hard, he can throw it hard. But compared to Jameis, he doesn't throw it as hard as (Winston) does. It'll be a little easier, we can see it coming a little quicker, steadier. That'll be the biggest change.

"He's a veteran, he knows what he's talking about, he knows what he's doing and he's somebody – especially at the quarterback position – if he says it, he calls it, no question just go out there and run it. Because at the end of the day, he's been in the system, he knows a thing or two. Whatever he's going with, we're going. The same with Jameis, though. They're both vets, they've both played a lot of football. Whatever they say, we're gonna do, no questions asked."

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