If the Saints are to beat the Bucs for a third consecutive time this season, they’ll likely have to do it without backup quarterback/wildcat running back/tight end/special teams ace Taysom Hill, per The Athletic Saints’ reporter Katherine Terrell. Hill suffered a knee injury against the Bears in the wild card round of the playoffs, and didn’t practice until Friday of this week, when he was a limited participant.

Offensive packages involving Hill have borne mixed results at best over the past few years, but the utility weapon has had a few of his most productive games as a non-starter against the Bucs. In two meetings this season Hill has 10 rushes for 67 yards while catching two passes for 35 yards. He’s also 3-for-3 passing for 86 yards, so it’s safe to say the Bucs have struggled to defend him this season. Hill is typically the team’s backup quarterback, starting four games in Drew Brees’ absence this season, so that honor will now fall to former Buc Jameis Winston, who was demoted to third-string quarterback in New Orleans at the beginning of November.

On the other hand, less Hill means more Brees, which has never been a good thing for Tampa Bay. The Bucs will also have to contend with a heavier dose of Alvin Kamara, as a quad injury to Latavius Murray has the Saints top backup running back expected to miss Sunday night’s game as well. The next leading healthy rusher after Kamara for New Orleans with Hill and Murray sidelined is Ty Montgomery, who has just 19 carries on the season. Murray hadn’t done much damage against Tampa Bay this season, with 25 carries for 87 yards and two catches for three yards across the two meetings.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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buettner
6 months ago

That can be the game changer!

fredster
6 months ago

Good news for Bucs. More Brees is better at this point in his career to me. Tired arm and hurt ribs. The biggest thing Bucs can do on defense is stop Kamara. Get in the backfield and shut the run down. That also means tackling well when they dink and dunk to Kamara and others. Take away the YAC and underneath. Brees cannot beat you deep imo.

Captain Sly
Reply to  fredster
6 months ago

Gotta say I agree fredster. Taysom Hill has been the wildcard that has puzzled Bowles for years. No more gimmicks, gadgets or rabbits out of the hat everything falls on Brees shoulders to orchestrate this dink & dunk offense. Going to be interesting to see how Sean Payton tries to get around this. The advantage should be with the Bucs coaching staff now but I still have doubts. Cheers!

hanks9872
6 months ago

Wouldn’t it be funny if Brees gets hurt and Winston has to come innand he throws six picks.

RW
RW
Reply to  hanks9872
6 months ago

That would be epic!

danielob
Reply to  hanks9872
6 months ago

At least 6, ha ha. We know he has it in him….

RW
RW
6 months ago

Without Hill, Brees has to do all the heavy lifting himself. Turning out to be be a Brees vs Brady battle of the arms.

TBChucky
6 months ago

I’ve been hoping Hill and Murray wouldn’t be available. Takes away some on Payton’s dazzle dazzle play potential. Not e defense should focus on shutting everything down short and intermediate. Make Brees have to attempt to throw deep.

owlykat
6 months ago

The key to winning is just disrupting Brees’ rhythm by jamming both his WRs; forcing him to play longer and allowing time for our sackers to get to him.

Eddie
6 months ago

Buc defense, just tackle and wrap up. Kamara is your guy. Focus on him