3 Key Points:
- Saints’ QB Pursuit: The New Orleans Saints sought a backup quarterback after Derek Carr’s Week 3 shoulder injury, considering multiple options to back up Jameis Winston.
- Ben DiNucci’s Role: Despite the Saints’ interest, Ben DiNucci chose to stay with the Denver Broncos’ practice squad, valuing his position there.
- DiNucci’s XFL Success: In the XFL 2023 season, DiNucci led the league with 2,671 passing yards, a 64.7% completion rate, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.
The New Orleans Saints faced a challenging situation when quarterback Derek Carr sustained a shoulder injury in Week 3. This prompted an urgent search for a reliable backup to support starter Jameis Winston. Among the candidates considered was Ben DiNucci, a former seventh-round NFL draft pick and a standout player in the XFL’s 2023 season.
DiNucci, who played college football at Pittsburgh and James Madison, later emerged as a significant player for the Seattle Sea Dragons in the XFL. His impressive performance included leading the team to a 7-3 record and securing a playoff berth. In the XFL’s 2023 season, DiNucci was a leading figure, throwing for 2,671 yards and 20 touchdowns, maintaining a 64.7% completion rate, and achieving his longest pass of the season at 68 yards.
Per The Denver Gazette’s Chris Tomasson, despite the Saints’ interest, DiNucci elected to stay with the Denver Broncos, where he was part of the practice squad. The decision was influenced by the stability and opportunity he found in Denver, particularly as the Broncos, under coach Sean Payton, were making strides towards a potential playoff spot with a 7-6 record at the time.
In response to DiNucci’s decision and Carr’s ongoing recovery, the Saints signed Jake Luton from the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad. Luton was rostered for three weeks, providing depth while Carr played through his injury. However, with the return of rookie quarterback Jake Haener from suspension, Luton was eventually waived.
This sequence of events underscores the dynamic nature of team rosters in the NFL and the importance of strategic decisions in player recruitment and management. The Saints’ pursuit of DiNucci and their subsequent moves highlight the constant evaluation and adjustment teams undergo to maintain a competitive edge.
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