With Drew Brees back in the starting lineup, the Saints' plan for Sunday's game against the Chiefs was to promote Jameis Winston to backup quarterback while keeping Taysom Hill in a jack-of-all trades role, according to CBS NFL insider Jason La Canfora. The Saints will have to alter their plans, however, as the team placed Winston on their reserve/COVID-19 list just before kickoff. Brees is playing for the first time since sustaining 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung during New Orleans' win over the 49ers on November 15.
With Winston out, the Saints may have to limit Hill's workload in the event that they would need him to replace Brees. Hill has completed over 72% of his passes this season while also rushing for 395 yards and five touchdowns. The 30-year-old quarterback has a 3-1 record as the Saints starting quarterback this season. His play has been one of the reasons why the Saints are 10-3 in in a two-team battle with the Packers for the NFC's top-seeded team.
While his time running the offense has been mostly smooth sailing, Hill and his offensive teammates took a step backwards in last Sunday's loss to the Eagles. For the first time since Week 5, New Orleans failed to reach 100 rushing yards as a team in its 24-21 loss. With All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas out for Sunday's game with an injury, the Saints will have to lean more on running back Alvin Kamara, who has not gone over 100 all-purpose yards in a game since Week 8. The Saints' offense will face a Chiefs defense that is eighth in the league in points allowed but is also just 26th in rushing, 20th in third down efficiency and 32nd in red zone efficiency.
The Chiefs, who are 7-0 away from Arrowhead Stadium, are 3.5-point favorites to hand the Saints their second home loss, according to William Hill Sportsbook. The over/under has been set at 51.5 points, which is a little low considering the capabilities of both offenses.