Taysom Hill entered the Week 13 matchup against the Dallas Cowboys nursing an ankle issue, but now he's got another and arguably bigger problem to deal with going forward. The New Orleans Saints' hybrid talent took on the role as starting quarterback for head coach Sean Payton on Thursday night, but headed to the sideline in the first quarter for medical evaluation after apparently injuring his throwing hand on a pass with a defender closing in on a potential sack. However, Hill returned to the game and wound up playing 100% of the offensive snaps.
The 31-year-old reportedly suffered a torn tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand -- known as mallet finger -- but will not require surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and Hill will try to play through the injury. For reference, it's the same injury suffered earlier this season by Russell Wilson, who then underwent surgery before missing time and returning for the Seattle Seahawks, but Wilson has been a shell of his former self as he tries to regain his throwing prowess.
According to Schefter, Hill's injury is not as extensive as Wilson's was. Even so, it begs the question of how effective/ineffective Hill might be as a passer going forward; and particularly considering his struggles in that area when he's healthy.
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Hill finished the loss to the Cowboys by tossing four interceptions (three in the last seven minutes of regulation, including a pick-six to defensive lineman Carlos Watkins) and completing only 19 of his 41 pass attempts for a 44.2 passer rating. Should he continue as starter, this is likely the type of production Payton can expect, which again thrusts Trevor Siemian into the conversation as possibly (and likely?) regaining the starting role. Siemian was eventually given the nod after the Saints lost Jameis Winston for the season with a torn ACL and MCL damage.
Siemian is 0-4 as the Saints' starting QB, however, which led to the move to Hill, but there's also rookie quarterback Ian Book, who was inactive against the Cowboys and hasn't taken a snap this season. Currently reeling from a five-game losing streak and combining that with news on Hill has the 5-7 Saints pushed firmly against a wall going forward.
With three division games to come in their last five, along with a matchup against the suddenly resurgent defense of the Miami Dolphins, the wheels are beginning to fall off in New Orleans, and Payton has to figure out quickly how to retorque the lug nuts.