Winston did not participate in New Orleans' practice on Thursday for a second straight day. Despite the consecutive absences, the Saints' stance on their starting quarterback remains the same.
"I think they're just making what was the best decision for him today, and then obviously it was a plan last week kind of where he was going to be limited throughout the week, and so we'll see where we are at tomorrow," Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael said Thursday. "But it was just part of the plan as the day unfolded.
"I think the plan was just kind of see where he was at day to day and then see if we could get him out there. So hopefully, that happens tomorrow."
Veteran backup Andy Dalton once again took starting snaps in practice, and would be in line to start if Winston could not play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings in London. The Saints seem comfortable with such a scenario, should Winston's health require the backup to take his place.
"(Dalton) knows what we're doing, what the plan is," Carmichael said. "A lot of confidence in Andy."
Dalton has a career's worth of experience under center, serving as Cincinnati's starter from 2011-2019 before moving to Dallas in 2020, where he started nine games. The TCU product started six games in Chicago last season, then joined the Saints as one of the top backups available in the NFL.
New Orleans is very familiar with facing a worst-case scenario under center after losing Winston to a season-ending ACL tear in 2021. Winston is currently dealing with back and ankle injuries and has struggled in his last two starts.
Should Winston need to sit out Sunday, New Orleans will be glad it invested in Dalton. For now, though, this remains a day-to-day situation. We'll see if it calls for the backup this weekend.