New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston was in the midst of one of the best seasons of his professional career in 2021 before an ACL injury. Since going down during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October, Winston has been relentlessly attacking his rehab. He's continued to make progress over the past few months and it seems like he'll be fully healthy when training camp begins.
After the bright spots that Winston displayed last season, he could walk away with a prestigious honor in 2022 if his progress continues. According to BetOnline, the former Florida State star has the second-best odds in the league to win Comeback Player of the Year.
The only player listed higher than Winston (+600) is Tennessee Titans' star running back, Derrick Henry (+550). Henry missed a career-high nine games last season while dealing with an injury, recording his fewest yards since 2017.
Outside of Winston and Henry, the rest of the field is a little farther back according to the odds. Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas and Carolina Panthers running back, Christian McCaffery, both slot in at +900. Injuries have limited Thomas and McCaffery for much of the last two years.
Deshaun Watson, Daniel Jones, JK Dobbins, Lamar Jackson, and Mitchell Trubisky were a few other players that made the list.
Despite New Orleans head coach Sean Payton retiring this offseason, the Saints will be a contender in the NFC once again. There is continuity with new head coach Dennis Allen, who has been with the team since 2015. The franchise also made it a point to improve the offense over free agency and the draft.
The Saints drafted wide receiver Chris Olave and left tackle Trevor Penning in the first round. Olave will be an instant deep threat alongside Thomas, who is expected to be back in action this season. Penning won't have an easy task, replacing Terron Armstead. Regardless, there's much more for Winston to work with instead of having to wear out star running back, Alvin Kamara every possession.
In a season where Winston had a beat-up group of wide receivers and a nearly non-existent tight end room, he completed 59% of his passes for 1170 yards with 14 touchdowns to three interceptions in seven games. The nearly five to one touchdown to interception ratio would've been the best of Winston's career in a full season. He'll look to build on it after a summer of recovery.
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