How does Taysom Hill fit into the Saints’ backup plan if Jameis Winston can’t play?
Andy Dalton has been taking the first-team snaps for New Orleans this week, per reports, but Hill has taken QB snaps as well
New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston missed his second straight practice on Thursday ahead of the team’s game against the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in London.
If Winston isn’t able to play against the Vikings, what will that mean for quarterbacks Andy Dalton and Taysom Hill?
While backup Dalton is expected to get the start for New Orleans if Winston is out, Hill may also be in line for playing time.
The utility player and onetime dual-threat quarterback at BYU has transitioned over to tight end this season but reportedly is taking snaps this week at quarterback. He appears to be the team’s third option at the position heading into Week 4.
Is Jameis Winston injured?
Winston is currently dealing with back and ankle injuries, and that’s forced the veteran to miss the last two days of practice. On Wednesday, Winston told reporters he plans to play against the Vikings.
Saints offensive coordinator Peter Carmichael explained on Thursday there’s still optimism Winston could play this Sunday.
“I think they’re just making what was the best decision for him today, and then obviously it was a plan last week kind of where he was going to be limited throughout the week, and so we’ll see where we are at tomorrow,” Carmichael told reporters.
“I think the plan was just kind of see where he was at day to day and then see if we could get him out there. So hopefully, that happens tomorrow,” he said.
Would Andy Dalton be the starter if Jameis Winston is unavailable?
The 34-year-old Dalton was brought in this season to back up Winston and has been taking the first-team reps at practice this week, according to multiple reports.
If Dalton is called upon to start this Sunday, both his coaches and teammates expressed their confidence in the 12-year veteran.
“He’s a veteran, he knows what he’s talking about, he knows what he’s doing and he’s somebody — especially at the quarterback position — if he says it, he calls it, no question just go out there and run it. Because at the end of the day, he’s been in the system, he knows a thing or two,” Saints wide receiver Marquez Callaway told reporters.
What is Taysom Hill’s role right now, particularly at quarterback?
Saints coach Dennis Allen said on Wednesday that it’s been the plan since the preseason to get Hill more reps at quarterback in practice, as the Deseret News reported. He added that Hill’s QB reps Wednesday weren’t necessarily related to Winston’s absence.
Hill has experience playing quarterback for the Saints — he went 7-2 as the starter in the previous two seasons — and has been taking second-team quarterback reps this week, per multiple reports.
Saint media contributor Todd Graffagnini reported that, on Thursday, Hill not only got reps at quarterback but ran pass routes at tight end.
“Obviously Taysom has played (quarterback) for us before and he’s taken some snaps at quarterback this year. We have all the confidence in the world in Taysom, too, if it ever came to that,” Carmichael said.