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Alex Smith out, Taysom Hill back to utility role for this weekend

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Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)


Former Utah quarterback Alex Smith and former BYU signal caller Taysom Hill have provided some of the best stories of the 2020 NFL season thanks to strong performances recently, but neither is likely to play this weekend.

Smith has been officially ruled out for the Washington Football Team because of a right calf injury he sustained last Sunday, while ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday that New Orleans Saints usual starter Drew Brees will return to that role after missing the last few weeks because of broken ribs and a punctured lung.

New Orleans head coach Sean Payton confirmed the report later in the day.

In seven appearances this season, Smith has thrown for 1,420 yards and four touchdowns in his return from a gruesome leg injury he suffered in 2018. With him as the starter, Washington has won its last four games and is fighting for a playoff spot (he was hurt in the first half last Sunday against his first NFL squad, the San Francisco 49ers).

Dwayne Haskins will start in his place.

Meanwhile, Brees will be back this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, after missing the last four games. Hill was elevated to starter for the first time in his NFL career, and in those four contests, he went 82 of 112 for 834 yards with four touchdown passes, and he also rushed 39 times for 209 yards with four touchdowns as the Saints went 3-1.

Schefter reported Friday that Jameis Winston will remain New Orleans’ primary backup quarterback, with Hill going back to his “Jack-of-all trades role,” although Payton did not confirm which would be Brees’ backup.