Ian Book

Saints’ Hill Suffers Lisfranc Injury

According to a tweet from Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com, Saints’ head coach Sean Payton informed Fox’s Laura Okmin that quarterback Taysom Hill suffered a Lisfranc injury in the first half of the Saints’ Week 18 matchup in Atlanta. The injury to his left foot, if serious, could take Hill away from play for the rest of the year and potentially some of next year. 

A Lisfranc injury is what downed Jaguars’ rookie running back Travis Etienne in the preseason and kept him from playing for the entire season. When serious the injury can take up to 11-12 months to recover and has, in some instances, forced a couple of players into retirement. Hill suffered a similar injury to his right foot in 2015, when he was quarterbacking the BYU Cougars in their season opener against Nebraska. Hill finished the game, once it was confirmed it wouldn’t cause further damage, but when the game ended, then-head coach Bronco Mendenhall announced the injury would end his season.

This could be a major blow to the Saints as they are attempting to become the first NFL team in the league’s history to make it to the postseason after having started four different quarterbacks throughout the season. Due to season-ending injuries and COVID-19 infections, the Saints have seen Hill, Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian, and Ian Book all start games under center. They can get into the playoffs today with a win in Atlanta and a 49ers’ loss in Los Angeles to the Rams.

A playoff berth would certainly be a testament to Sean Payton’s ability to keep the boat afloat no matter who is at quarterback, but going into the postseason with your first- and second-string quarterbacks unable to play may prove to be their toughest challenge of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints’ COVID Surge

Yesterday, the Saints saw 9 players hit the reserve/COVID-19 list including quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian who were expected to handle the duties behind center for the rest of the year with Jameis Winston on IR with a torn ACL. In addition to those two, guard James Carpenter, linebacker Kaden Elliss, defensive back Jeff Heath, defensive end Jalyn Holmes, defensive back Malcolm Jenkins, defensive tackle Christian Ringo, and tackle Jordan Mills all found themselves on the COVID list. Besides the quarterbacks and full-time starter Jenkins, the other six players have a combined 8 starts between them.

With three quarterbacks currently unavailable for Monday Night’s matchup with the Dolphins, the Saints are expected to start the rookie fourth-round pick out of Notre Dame, Ian Book. As we reported earlier this morning, New Orleans also made the move of signing Blake Bortles as a contingency plan behind Book.

Well, despite the addition, the Saints didn’t fair any better today, losing full-time starters Ryan Ramczyk at tackle and Demario Davis at linebacker to the reserve/COVID-19 list, as well as reserves running back Dwayne Washington and safety J.T. Gray.

With the losses, the Saints will continue to operate with a depleted roster, like every other NFL team this year. The Saints’ lineup now lacks the likes of regular starters like Winston, Hill, Jenkins, Ramczyk, Davis, kicker Wil Lutz, tackle Andrus Peat, tight end Adam Trautman, and wide receiver Michael Thomas. Although they look like a shell of the team they could be at full strength, the Saints, along with the rest of the NFL, will continue to work to make the most of a bad situation as they currently sit only two spots outside of the final Wild Card spot with a 7-7 record, losing the tiebreakers to current 7-seed Minnesota and 8-seed Philadelphia.

Saints Place Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Saints are the latest team with a virus issue. It may well lead the playoff-contending squad starting a rookie at quarterback Monday night.

New Orleans placed Trevor Siemian on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier Thursday morning, Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com notes, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com adds that Taysom Hill will also be moved to the virus list (Twitter link). Rookie Ian Book is the next man up. The Notre Dame product is likely to get the call Monday night.

Book would be New Orleans’ fourth QB starter this season, following Jameis Winston, Siemian and Hill. The Saints selected the ex-Fighting Irish standout in the fourth round. This certainly could stall the Saints’ recent momentum. After nearly falling out of the playoff race during a stretch without Alvin Kamara, the Saints have won two straight — including a 9-0 win in Tampa that doubled as Tom Brady‘s first shutout loss in 15 years.

Sean Payton has not been at the facility this week; the 16th-year head coach remains away from the team after testing positive for COVID last week. The Saints chose Book 133rd overall. He started three seasons at Notre Dame, topping out with a 34-touchdown pass season as a junior in 2019.

Book is also the winningest starting QB in Notre Dame history. He stands to be tasked with helping the Saints stay on the No. 7 seed line in the NFC playoff race. The Saints’ win over the Buccaneers moved them to 7-7; FiveThirtyEight.com gives the team a 44% chance to make the playoffs. New Orleans being forced to give the keys to a Day 3 rookie with zero regular-season snaps will impact those odds.

The Saints also added seven more players to their reserve/COVID-19 list. Malcolm Jenkins is among them. Joining the veteran safety are safety Jeff Heath, guard James Carpenter, offensive lineman Jordan Mills, defensive end Jalyn Holmes, D-tackle Christian Ringo and linebacker Kaden Elliss.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Sign Entire Draft Class, Restructure Marshon Lattimore

The Saints just knocked out a big order of business. New Orleans has signed their entire draft class to their rookie deals, as Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football tweeted.

To create the cap space necessary for these deals, the team restructured cornerback Marshon Lattimore‘s contract, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. They converted his “$10.2M fifth year option to a $990K base salary and the rest in a roster bonus with voidable years,” he reports. Rapsheet adds that the team will “keep working on an extension” with Lattimore.

The six-man draft class includes defensive end Payton Turner (first-round; Houston), linebacker Pete Werner (second-round; Ohio State), cornerback Paulson Adebo (third-round; Stanford), quarterback Ian Book (fourth-round; Notre Dame), offensive tackle Landon Young (sixth-round; Kentucky), and wide receiver Kawaan Baker (seventh-round; South Alabama).

It’s great they got this out of the way as the offseason starts to heat up with mandatory minicamps. The Saints had been in a terrible cap situation at the end of 2020, but GM Mickey Loomis has always been able to work some magic.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints Select Notre Dame QB Ian Book At No. 133

The Saints are preparing for the post-Drew Brees era, and they’re giving a shot to a rookie quarterback. With pick No. 133, the Saints have selected Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book.

Book had a breakout campaign in 2019, tossing 34 touchdowns vs. only six interceptions. He couldn’t carry that production over to 2020, but he still had a solid season, completing 64.6-percent of his passes for 2,830 yards, 15 touchdowns, and three interceptions. That performance ultimately earned him third-team All-ACC honors.

Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston both sit atop the Saints depth chart, and it sounds like the organization will give each of the veterans an equal crack at the starting gig. Book probably won’t see the field much as a rookie, but there’s a chance he could get some snaps if the other two QBs struggle.