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3 takeaways from the Saints first preseason game

What stood out in the Saints’ first preseason game of 2022

New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

1. The Saints will be in a much better position than last year should Jameis Winston get injured again

The Saints 2021 season was completely derailed when Jameis Winston was lost for the season, as they could not get consistent play at quarterback from with Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill. Their backup QB this year is Andy Dalton, a veteran who has been to the playoffs five times. Dalton looked good in his first action as a Saint, completing all 5 of his pass attempts for 51 yards and a touchdown, all without any starting skill position players on the field. Dalton should be considered one of the better backup QBs in the NFL, and if God forbid Jameis goes down again or is unable to make a full recovery from last year’s injury, the Saints should not lose all hope of sneaking into the playoffs this season.

New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

2. Chase Hansen and Nephi Sewell could each make the 53 man roster

These two linebackers got their preseason off to a great start on Saturday, each logging a team high 6 total tackles. Sewell signed as an undrafted rookie out of Utah after the draft, and is already making a strong push to be on the active roster once the season starts. Hansen has been in and out of the 53 man lineup over the past three seasons, but his performance on Saturday, which included two tackles for loss and an interception, could be the start of more significant playing time for him.

The Saints do not have many starters at linebacker set in stone outside of Demario Davis, so if these two continue to play this well in camp and over the next two weeks we could see one of, if not both of them make the 53 man roster come August 30.

3. The RB3 position is completely up for grabs

The Saints gave four different running backs 7+ carries on Saturday, tied for the most in the league this week with the Buccaneers. Abram Smith, Tony Jones, Jr., Devine Ozigbo, and Dwayne Washington all played significant time as the Saints try and find the next man up after veterans Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram. With Kamara possibly facing a suspension, this has the potential to be a very important position in the early weeks of the season. The job is Tony Jones, Jr.’s to lose, as he is currently listed as RB3 on the depth chart and showed flashes last season. Undrafted rookie Abram Smith also looked good as he led the team in rushing yards, but a fumble on the goaline in the fourth quarter is something you never want to see from an undrafted rookie, and may bump him down behind Jones for the time being.

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