It looks like Taysom Hill will have a chance this week to earn some of those quarterback dollars in his new contract.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the New Orleans Saints utility player is getting practice reps at quarterback with the first unit in anticipation of starting against the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday. If Hill is medically cleared from a lingering foot injury, he’ll start, according to the report. Trevor Siemian, who’s started every Saints game since Jameis Winston suffered in ACL tear in Week 8, is practicing with the second unit, according to the report.
The Saints are 0-4 in Siemian starts with consecutive losses to the Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills. Siemian has completed 57.2% of his passes with nine touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Tyler Kaufman)
Hill has seen limited action at quarterback in 2021, completing 7 of 8 pass attempts with an interception in seven appearances. He’s seen the bulk of his production on the ground with 104 yards on 20 carries. Now he’ll have a chance to earn the full-time quarterback job starting with a high-profile primetime game against the Cowboys.
Hill, 31, has played as a gadget player in the Saints offense since joining the team out of BYU in 2017. A starting quarterback in college, he’s worked as a change-of-pace player behind Drew Brees and Winston as the Saints leveraged his athleticism to create mismatches for opposing defenses.
He saw the bulk of his action as an NFL passer in 2020, completing 88 of 121 attempts for 928 yards (7.7 yards per attempt) with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He reportedly signed a contract extension last week with a baseline of $40 million over the next four seasons that could escalate to $95 million based on starts at quarterback.
Cowboys getting at least one key player back for Saints game
The 5-6 Saints will likely need a productive game from Hill to compete with a Cowboys offense getting a least one key player back for Week 13. Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb, who missed last week’s game against the Las Vegas Raiders with a concussion, told reporters on Monday that he’s planning to play this week, while describing his absence in concussion protocol in Week 12 “the longest week of my life.”
Meanwhile, fellow starting receiver Amari Cooper was back at the Cowboys facility on Monday after missing two games and being quarantined in the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol. He didn’t practice, and his status for Thursday isn’t yet clear. Head coach Mike McCarthy won’t be at practice or Thursday’s game after landing in COVID-19 protocol.