Quarterback Jameis Winston returned to the field Wednesday and practice on at limited basis, the first time he has participated during a practice week since the New Orleans Saints played Carolina on Sept. 25.
The Saints (2-3) split the two games Winston has missed so far, a 28-25 loss to Minnesota in London on Oct. 2 and a 39-32 victory over Seattle in the Caesars Superdome on Sunday, with Andy Dalton as the starter. Winston missed the two games, and subsequent practices, due to back and ankle injuries. The Saints play Cincinnati on Sunday in the Superdome.
"I think this is part of the process," Coach Dennis Allen said. "Eventually, he's got to get out here and start practicing football. We feel like that's appropriate, it's part of the process of getting him well.
"This is part of the rehab process. It's another step in the right direction."
THINNED ROOM: Receiver Chris Olave (concussion) didn't practice, but went through the team stretch before leaving. Also, receivers Michael Thomas (toe) and Jarvis Landry (ankle) didn’t practice.
"I would say that (Olave) is following the protocol, and we're going to continue to follow the protocol to a 'T,'" Allen said. "Whenever he's cleared through the protocol, we'll expect him to be out there. Part of him being out there today was all part of the protocol."
Landry was banged up entering the game in London.
"I thought he gutted it out over in the Minnesota game, and just haven't been able to get back out there yet," Allen said.
Thomas has missed the last two games with the toe injury. Add receiver/returner Deonte Harty to the list, and the Saints were down to three healthy receivers – Marquez Callaway (two catches for five yards against Seattle), Tre'Quan Smith (one for 10 yards) and Keith Kirkwood (one for four yards) – to finish against Seattle. It remains to be seen who will and won't be available for Sunday's game.
"I feel good about the depth, feel good about the guys we have to go out there and play," Allen said. "We'll go out there and play with those guys and see how it goes."
EXPLOSIVES: New Orleans' defense, which had done a good job of limiting explosive plays (passes that gain 20-plus yards, runs that gain 10-plus) this season. But Seattle had six of them Sunday.
"If you look at statistically, the teams in our league that give up the least amount of explosive plays, we would be in the top 10 in that category," Allen said. "That's something that we've generally done a pretty good job of. Obviously, we had a bad day at the office (Sunday). We're working extremely hard to make sure that we get it fixed and that that doesn't happen again, and we've moved forward."