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Saints QB Jameis Winston suffered torn ACL, MCL damage vs. Bucs, will miss remainder of season

Jameis Winston's season is prematurely over after suffering a knee injury in the New Orleans Saints' Week 8 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that an MRI confirmed Winston suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season, per a source informed of the situation. There is also damage to the QB's MCL, Rapoport added.

Saints head coach Sean Payton later confirmed Winston will miss the remainder of the season.

The diagnosis confirms the initial tests that Winston tore his ACL after being dragged to the ground by linebacker Devin White early in the second quarter. It was an ugly play where the QB's left knee bent inward on the illegal horse-collar tackle.

After the game, Payton noted Winston suffered a "significant" injury, and the QB was on crutches after the 36-27 victory.

It's brutal news for Winston, who was attempting to revive his career under Payton's tutelage. After sitting behind Drew Brees last season, Winston earned the starting gig for the 5-2 Saints. Authoring an up-and-down campaign, the QB did a better job of negating the big negative plays than during his years in Tampa. Winston finishes his season having completed 95-of-161 attempts for 1,170 yards and 14 TDs to three INTs.

After signing a one-year contract to return to New Orleans this offseason, the injury is a blow to Winston as he is set to be a free agent after this season. The recovery process, particularly with MCL damage in addition to the ACL tear, will determine how his career unfolds from here.

With the Saints in solid playoff position, Payton will now have to manage more uncertainty under center. The Super Bowl-winning coach has been magnificent in recent seasons when Brees has been out. Payton must now decide whether to hand the reins to backup Taysom Hill, who has been out due to a concussion, or ride veteran Trevor Siemian, who replaced Winstonon Sunday and played well, helping lead the Saints to a win over their division rival.

Siemian has started 25 games in his NFL career -- 24 with Denver in 2016-2017 and one with the New York Jets in 2019 -- sporting a 13-12 record.

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