The New Orleans Saints are expected to start Taysom Hill in place of the injured Drew Brees against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Saints will go with utility man Hill, and not former first overall pick Jameis Winston, under center as Brees recovers from rib fractures and a collapsed lung.
Winston replaced Brees for the second half of the Saints’ 27-13 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10, completing six passes for 63 yards.
However, it is Hill who will seemingly get the nod as the Saints look to survive without future Hall of Famer Brees in the coming weeks.
Hill has long since been a prominent part of the Saints’ offensive gameplan, head coach Sean Payton utilising his athleticism by incorporating him as a part-time quarterback as well as a runner and a receiver.
But Hill has not started a game at quarterback since his college days at BYU. He has thrown only 18 regular-season passes in his NFL career, completing 10 for 205 yards with one interception.
There is an argument, though, that Hill offers more of a deep passing threat than Brees.
Taysom Hill’s 50-yard completion to Deonte Harris traveled 54.7 yards in the air, longer than any Drew Brees completion (by air distance) over the last 3 seasons, including playoffs.
— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 5, 2020
His touchdown throw to Deonte Harris in the Wild Card round of last year’s playoffs against the Minnesota Vikings travelled 54.7 yards in the air, longer than any throw by Brees by air distance over the previous three campaigns, according to the NFL’s NextGen Stats.
Hill has 850 yards and 11 touchdowns from scrimmage since joining the Saints in 2017. With his versatility and the two-year, $16.3million extension they signed him to in the offseason, this move may not be seen as a surprise by some.
Yet starting him over a quarterback in Winston, who, for all his issues with turnovers, led the NFL in passing yardage for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, is a significant gamble by Payton.
In a tight NFC playoff race, the 7-3 Saints cannot afford for it to backfire.