Last year, when quarterback Drew Brees missed five games with a thumb injury, the Saints turned to the No. 2 quarterback on their depth chart, Teddy Bridgewater. This year, the next man up (based on the same officially unofficial depth chart that pointed to Bridgewater last year) is Taysom Hill, not Jameis Winston.
Yes, Hill was the No. 3 option in 2019. This year, he’s No. 2.
So if, as expected, Brees will miss some time due to a ribs or rib or shoulder or whatever injury, will it be the next man up or the next man after?
On Sunday, Winston entered the game after Brees exited. Which makes sense, given that the Saints had baked a Hill package into the game plan. With a full week to prepare for an opponent (this week, the Falcons), coach Sean Payton could decide to use Hill instead of Winston.
Some will say that the Saints could still use the Hill package, if Winston plays quarterback. But if the Saints have only two healthy quarterbacks, Hill likely will focus on being the game-day backup, not the jack-of-all-trades option.
At the end of the day, every coach wants to put his best 11 players on the field. If Brees does indeed miss time, we’ll find out whether Payton regards Hill or Winston as one of the best 11 offensive players.