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The New Orleans Saints had to try something new and they looked to quarterback Taysom Hill to be the savior — but the team’s losing streak wasn’t broken with the modifications and appeared to break the QB, instead.
Hill threw four interceptions in a 27-17 loss to Dallas — and injured the middle finger on his throwing hand in the first quarter of the game — Thursday night at the Superdome. Marking the first time the Saints (5-7) have lost five straight games since 2005, which was the season before Payton arrived.
Hill will try to play through a mallet finger injury that he suffered in the loss without having surgery, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports.
ESPN reports that team doctors said Hill’s mallet finger — the name for a ruptured extensor tendon at the tip of the finger — was not as extensive as the one that Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson that required surgery. The Seahawks QB suffered both a mallet finger and a fracture-dislocation on a separate joint in the same finger.
Hill finished the game 19-of-41 passing for 264 yards, two touchdowns and four interceptions in his first start of the 2021 season. He also ran the ball 11 times for 101 yards — ESPN reports he is also playing through the pain of a partially torn plantar fascia that he suffered in Week 10.
Hill is now 3-2 in his career as a starter after going 3-1 as an injury replacement for Drew Brees last year. He completed 82-of-114 passes in those games for 834 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He also ran the ball 39 times for 209 yards and four TDs but lost three fumbles, per ESPN.
ESPN reports the team hopes to get running back Alvin Kamara and offensive tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk back from knee injuries soon. If Hill is healthy enough to play at close to full strength, he has a good chance to remain in the starting role for the Saints when they play again at the New York Jets in Week 14.
The 31-year-old QB a unique hybrid contract extension last week that is worth a base value of $40 million over four years if he continues to play his usual role as a QB/RB/TE/WR but could earn an additional $55 million if he transitions to the team’s starting signal-caller role and fulfills that need for the team over the next four seasons, Sports Illustrated reports.
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