Sunday, 8:30 a.m. at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London (Ch. 5, NFL Network, KFAN-FM 100.3)
ABOUT THE SAINTS
• The Saints (1-2) fell behind 13-0 to the Panthers in Carolina, where New Orleans turned the ball over three times, had a blocked field goal attempt and lost 22-14. Three Saints receivers – Michael Thomas (toe), Jarvis Landry (foot) and Tre'Quan Smith (concussion) — exited due to injuries. On Friday, Thomas was ruled out for Sunday's game. Quarterback Jameis Winston (back/ankle) was also banged up last Sunday and is doubtful to play against the Vikings.
• Receiver Chris Olave, the 11th overall pick out of Ohio State, took advantage of the opportunity against the Panthers, catching 9 of 13 targets for 147 yards. Running back Alvin Kamara had 73 yards from scrimmage, but lost a fumble returned for a Panthers touchdown. The Saints rank eighth overall in yardage, but they're 22nd in scoring and have the most turnovers (9) and worst turnover differential (-6) in the league.
• Defensive end Cameron Jordan, a 33-year-old former All-Pro, had his 108th career sack against the Panthers – the most among all active NFL defenders behind the Bills' Von Miller. Jordan has been paired with former first-round pick Marcus Davenport, who leads the Saints with six quarterback pressures. Cornerback Marshon Lattimore, one of the game's best, will likely often be assigned to cover Justin Jefferson.
PLAYER SPOTLIGHT | QB Andy Dalton
• Quarterback Andy Dalton is now expected to replace the injured Winston and start Sunday in his second London matchup with Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. The two squared off in a 2016 tie between Cincinnati and Washington at Wembley Stadium. Winston seems unlikely to play after missing three practices this week in London. Dalton took first-team snaps this week during practice, and the versatile Taysom Hill (tight end/back-up QB) also got some time at QB. Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael told reporters in London on Thursday about Dalton: "He's smart, he gets in and out of the huddle. He knows what we're doing, what the plan is."
• Dalton, 34, has started at least six games in each of his 11 NFL seasons, which include starts for the Cowboys and Bears since moving on from the Bengals. This is the third straight year he'll start against the Vikings; his Bears lost, 31-17, in last year's regular-season finale; his Cowboys won, 31-28, in Minnesota in 2020.
• Saints head coach Dennis Allen on Dalton: "He's done a good job. Look, Andy's done this. He's performed at a high level in our league and that's really one of the big reasons why we brought him here. In case he's called upon, we feel highly confident he can go in there and do the job. We're kind of looking that direction."
COACH SPEAK | Dennis Allen
• Allen, a longtime defensive coach, took over the Saints after Sean Payton retired last offseason. He had been the Saints defensive coordinator for the past seven seasons, in which he helped turn the league's worst defense into a top-five scoring group each of the last two years.
• Allen, 50, is in his first season as Saints head coach and fourth in the NFL with a 9-30 record (.231) in the regular season and no playoff appearances. He was the Raiders head coach from 2012-2014.
• Allen on the Saints' league-worst turnover differential: "It's got to again be a point of emphasis. We have to focus on it in practice. I think we've got to continue to show our guys that those are the things that keep you from winning in our league, and really that was a lot of the discussion that we had [this week]. We've done a lot of good things, but we kind of shoot ourselves in the foot."