NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — After wrapping up a week in Green Bay following a 20-10 loss to the Packers on Friday, the Saints returned to New Orleans and hosted an open practice in front of a reported 30,000 spectators in the Caesars Superdome on Sunday afternoon.
Fans flocked to catch a glimpse of their favorites, such as homegrown talents and former LSU Tigers in safety Tyrann Mathieu (St. Augustine High School) and wide receiver Jarvis Landry (Lutcher High School), as well as the return of starting quarterback Jameis Winston, who missed the first two preseason games with a sprained right foot.
Head coach Dennis Allen talked to the media following the two-hour practice.
“It’s part of the natural progression,” said Allen regarding Winston’s return. “I’m hopeful that we’ll begin to get him into some teamwork this week and see where he’s at.”
We also learned that Winston is not the only Saints starter dealing with an injury.
“Michael Thomas is dealing with a little bit of a hamstring,” shared Allen
Thomas has also missed both preseason games, which means more reps for guys like rookie wide receiver Chris Olave, who made his first return inside the Superdome since the 2021 Allstate Sugar Bowl when Ohio State defeated Clemson, 49-28.
“It was a covid year so there weren’t too many fans but I remember coming in here,” reminisced Olave. “It was a fun game, kind of a rematch. So, we wanted to get on them quick and it kind of went our way that day.”
Olave led the Buckeyes with 132 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns in that win.
Friday Night, Olave caught the first touchdown of his NFL career on a 20-yard pass from second-year quarterback Ian Book.
The Saints wrap preseason at home against the Los Angeles Chargers on Friday, Aug. 26. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
New Orleans will open the regular season at NFC South-rival Atlanta at noon on Sept. 11.