The New Orleans Saints were forced to make a quarterback change after Jameis Winston exited last Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston, who is out for the season with a torn ACL, left Sean Payton to decide who’s going to start for New Orleans against the Atlanta Falcons this weekend. As anticipated, Trevor Siemian is going to take snaps under center.
Siemian took over for Winston after he went down with an injury in the second quarter last Sunday. He took a total of 56 snaps against Tampa Bay and completed 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown. His touchdown pass to fullback Alex Armah Jr. was his first one in a whopping 1,421 days.
Being a backup quarterback in the NFL is no easy task. Each week these quarterbacks have to prepare as if they’re the starting quarterback without knowing exactly when their name is going to be called. It could be weeks, months, even years.
That’s why Siemian’s performance in Week 8 was eye-opening. He was quickly thrown into the game but operated with a high level of confidence and poise. On the road against the defending Super Bowl champions, he helped to lead the Saints to a 36-27 win. He’ll now get his first start with the Saints.
Trevor Siemian will start for the New Orleans Saints in Week 9
In a perfect world, Winston would be starting for New Orleans on Sunday. Since that’s not possible, the Saints had to look at three quarterbacks – Siemian, Taysom Hill and Ian Book. Hill has been out for the past two weeks due to concussion protocol, but he was a full participant in Thursday’s practice. Book has been inactive all season. With the main toss-up being between Siemian and Hill, New Orleans is betting on Siemian.
There have been rumors this week about the Saints adding another quarterback to their roster, but Payton was quick to deny that. That speaks volumes about the amount of confidence that he has in the team’s current depth chart. Not only was Payton satisfied with Siemian’s performance on Sunday, but former quarterback Drew Brees was impressed, too.
"“I think he’s going to do well. That’s exactly why he brought him in last year when I got hurt. He’s a cerebral guy who can pick up the system quickly. He can execute it.”"
New Orleans currently has the 31st-ranked passing offense in the NFL, so Siemian has his work cut out for him. He was drafted in 2015 by Denver and was expected to be the next quarterback phenomenon, but played his last game in Colorado in 2017. After spending time with the Jets in 2019, Siemian joined the Saints last season.
If there’s someone who can bring life back to Siemian’s career, it’s Payton. Outside of Brees, he’s seen success with Teddy Bridgewater and now Winston. His 38-yard pass last Sunday to wide receiver Kevin White is enough proof that he’s a viable option for New Orleans.
The Saints feel fully confident with Siemian, as they should. He’s thrown for 5,848 yards and 31 touchdowns over the course of his career. Siemian now has the chance to take down two NFC South rivals in back-to-back weeks. This could very well be the rebirth of his aspiration to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.
Being resilient is a must. Siemian’s abilities shouldn’t be undermined. Now’s his time to shine.