METAIRIE, La. The New Orleans Saints plan to start Taysom Hill at quarterback ahead of Jameis Winston on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons, a source tells ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Hill took all the starting representatives on practice this week, according to the source. A source also told ESPN’s Dianna Russini that Winston will not be part of any offensive packages unless necessary due to injury.
The move comes as a mild surprise as Winston is more experienced and was the one to replace Drew Brees in the second half of last Sunday’s 27-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers after Brees had a torn rib and a punctured lung.
However, the Saints decision is a reminder of how coach Sean Payton and team leaders have always maintained that Hill could be a starting NFL quarterback – and how they backed that belief by signing him to a $ 21 million two-year contract extension as a limited free agent this offseason.
Hill, who was a double-threat quarterback at BYU from 2012-2016, has carved out a unique role with the Saints over the past four seasons as a read-opportunity QB / RB / WR / TE / FB / special teams specialist.
He has completed just 11 of 20 passes in his career, including the playoffs, a total of 255 yards without touchdowns and one interception.
However, the fast and physical 6-foot-2, 221-pound has run the ball 105 times for 596 yards (an average of 5.7 yards per carry) with four TDs.
Hill played seven snaps at quarterback for the Saints in the second half of last Sunday’s win, driving the ball on five of them a total of 31 yards – though he lost a fumble on his last carry. He was also fired once.