Taysom Hill will reportedly start at QB vs. Cowboys after avoiding setbacks at Saints practice

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  • Dallas Cowboys
    Dallas Cowboys
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  • New Orleans Saints
    New Orleans Saints
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  • Taysom Hill
    Taysom Hill
    American football player

Taysom Hill has been cleared for his first start at quarterback in 2021 in a spotlight game.

The New Orleans Saints' utility player/quarterback will start Thursday in a prime-time matchup against the Dallas Cowboys, ESPN's Mike Triplett reports

The report confirms another from NFL Network on Monday that head coach Sean Payton planned to start Hill this week if he was healthy. Hill has been practicing with the first team all week and apparently didn't suffer any setbacks to a plantar fascia tear that limited him in recent weeks. He wasn't listed on the Saints' injury report Wednesday.

Siemian back to bench after 0-4 run

Hill's promotion means a return to the bench for Trevor Siemian, who started every Saints game since Jameis Winston suffered an ACL tear in Week 8. He completed 57.2% of his passes with nine touchdowns and three interceptions this season. The Saints are 0-4 since he took over as starter in Week 9.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - NOVEMBER 07: Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Caesars Superdome on November 07, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Taysom Hill has reportedly been cleared to start against the Cowboys. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Hill has thrown just eight passes this season and saw most of his action at quarterback in 2020 in place of an injured Drew Brees. He completed 88 of 121 attempts for 928 yards (7.7 yards per attempt) with four touchdowns and two interceptions while starting four games. 

Big incentive for Hill to perform

Hill has a new contract extension reportedly worth $40 million over four years with escalators based on quarterback play that could more than double its value to $95 million. Now is his chance to start earning that money. 

The Saints are 5-6 after losing four straight, which is good enough to remain in the thick of the playoff mix in the NFC. Based on tiebreakers, the 5-6 Washington Football Team would earn the conference's final playoff spot if the postseason started this week. New Orleans is one of three other NFC teams tied at 5-6 alongside the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons

A win against the 7-4 Cowboys won't come easy with Dallas expected to field all three starting receivers CeeDee Lamb, Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup for the first time since Week 1.

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