New Orleans Saints fans had to wait until the third and final preseason game to see quarterback Jameis Winston and running back Alvin Kamara on the field. It was worth the wait. Winston, who was held out of the preseason opener against the Houston Texans and injured his foot before the game against the Green Bay Packers, was crisp Friday night in the Caesars Superdome against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The veteran out of Florida State was four for four for 59 on the opening drive, connecting twice with receiver Jarvis Landry for 35 yards, once to rookie receiver Chris Olave for 19 yards and once to Kamara for five yards. Kamara, who was a healthy scratch in the first two preseason games, looked on point as well, carrying the ball officially two times for 19 yards, including a 13-yard drive in which he drug several Chargers defenders to the 1-yard line.
Veteran running back Mark Ingram II finished the 75-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Not to be outdone, linebacker Demario Davis, who also saw the field for the first time in preseason Friday, sacked Chargers quarterback Chase Daniel on the defense's opening possession to force a punt.
Backup Andy Dalton replaced Winston on the second possession and quickly marched the Saints to another touchdown, this time a 2-yard scoring run by Ingram. But rookie left tackle Trevor Penning was injured on the scoring play and didn't play the rest of the half. Receiver Tre'Quan Smith also left the game with an injury. Ian Book took over at quarterback on the final possession of the second quarter and led the Saints into field-goal range.
Kicker Wil Lutz delivered with a 47-yarder as the half ended, giving New Orleans a 17-10 lead.
While most of the Saints starters played in the first half, several notable names were held out including cornerback Paulson Adebo, defensive end Marcus Davenport, defensive end Carl Granderson, linebacker Chase Hansen, tight end Taysom Hill, tackle James Hurst, cornerback Marshon Lattimore, receiver Mike Thomas, tight end Adam Trautman, running back Dwayne Washington, linebacker Pete Werner, and offensive tackle Landon Young.
The Chargers will get the ball to start the second half.
Fans get ready at Champions Square as the New Orleans Saints host the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3 of the 2022 NFL Preseason on August 26 at the Caesars Superdome.