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Quarterback Taysom Hill attacks next injury challenge as New Orleans Saints prepare for Jets

'I have this week to kind of figure out the best process'


Having already missed games this season due to a concussion and plantar fascia injury, odds were that New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill wasn't going to be sidelined by Mallet finger.

The injury didn't force him to leave the Saints' last game, a 27-17 loss to Dallas, and it won't keep him out of the lineup for the next one, when New Orleans (5-7) faces the Jets (3-9) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

But it has, and will, require that Hill make some adjustments.

"This is one of those things that's going to just require time," he said. "So we're going to have to keep it splinted and allow enough time for it to scar down and heal.

"Any time you have something happen to your throwing hand, it affects things and certainly I felt it. It changed throwing motions and what you're used to and everything else. But, look, I managed and I was able to do what I felt like I needed to.

"This is one of those things, I don't know how it's going to respond. I have this week to kind of figure out the best process, what is my effectiveness in doing what I need to do to help us win. That's just kind of the stage that we're in."

Hill had a hand in 365 yards of offense for the Saints, who will look to end a five-game losing streak Sunday, against Dallas. He passed for 264 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 101 yards on 11 carries. But he also threw four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, completed 19 of 41 passes and was sacked twice, one of which helped prevent a field goal attempt.

"You need to look at it specifically to plays, specifically to situation, what is it a byproduct of," Coach Sean Payton said. "Your question is, the good with the bad. Can you win, but the bad has to be better and we don't have to be great, when I'm talking about him. There are elements that you watch where you are excited. There are things where you get into a game late like that that you want to improve on. That's the process, those are the starts. The next opportunity for him. I think he'll do well."

That will be Sunday, when Hill makes his sixth NFL start (he started four games last season).

"I felt OK throwing the ball today (Wednesday)," Hill said. "Again, it was kind of one of those things (against Dallas) where I felt like I was able to do what I needed to do. I think that would be a work in progress throughout this week to see what my effectiveness is.

"As far as what I do as far as a splint and tape and all that, we've tried a handful of different things already. We'll continue to try other things and figure out what works best."

It has been a continuous process this season for Hill, who entered training camp in a quarterback competition, and now is dealing with his third injury since the season began.

"We've talked at length (about) this year for me and the ups and the downs, managing expectations and disappointments and all that stuff," he said. "And I would tell you, throughout this year I have learned that you just manage the opportunities that come your way.

"That's really been where my mind-set has been: What can I do each week to help our team win football games and be effective? And so, that mind-set has carried me through the season. It's no different now than it was last week and the previous week.

"Now that I've had an opportunity to play full-time QB, this is the next opportunity for me and I'm going to do everything I can to take advantage of that and help us win games."

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