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Saints QB Jameis Winston throwing without brace on surgically repaired left knee

Jameis Winston appears to have reached another milestone in his return from last year's season-ending ACL injury.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback posted a video to Instagram this week of himself throwing without a brace on his surgically repaired left knee.

Winston had been wearing the brace while participating in organized team activities and mandatory minicamp earlier this summer. Now, just over eight months since tearing his ACL and suffering MCL damage, the Saints starter is looking comfortable dropping back with no restrictions.

Before suffering the season-ending injury, Winston was on pace to have a stellar first campaign as New Orleans' QB1. The signal-caller had marched the Saints to a 5-2 record with a 14-3 TD-to-INT ratio and boasted a career-best 102.8 passer rating through seven games. New Orleans re-signed Winston this offseason to a two-year, $28 million deal after a failed pursuit of Deshaun Watson.

Winston told NFL Network in May that he expects to play against the Atlanta Falcons when the 2022 season kicks off in September and that if he had to play a game right now, he'd "be able to go."

"We're taking this process slowly," Winston said. "It's about getting better every day. I'm embracing it, and I'm excited to be able to talk football and just keep progressing.

The Saints are hoping Winston progresses to the point where his past scars -- on the field and on his left knee -- will be an afterthought ahead of Week 1.

Winston and New Orleans veterans report for training camp on July 26.

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