Ian Book must be activated for Week 15
By Kristen Wong
New Orleans Saints quarterback Ian Book was inactive yet again for Week 14’s matchup against the New York Jets.
Book has been kept inactive for quite a few games now, begging the question — Why?
Coach Sean Payton declared that Taysom Hill would be the starter against the Jets, but Hill is still nursing a finger injury that forces him to play with a splint.
Under high pressure at center, Hill’s injury clearly hinders his throwing ability, causing a few unacceptable gaffes like the play below:
Given that NOLA is facing one of the worst offenses and defenses in the league, Hill’s mistakes may go unpunished this week. Next week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Saints can’t afford any unforced errors.
New Orleans Saints should give Ian Book a deserved chance in 2021
Now, that’s not to say Payton should play Ian Book against the Bucs in Week 15.
The 2021 fourth-rounder out of Notre Dame hasn’t played a single snap all season, and plugging him into lineup next week would signal that the Saints perhaps are giving up on their season.
With a 5-7 current record and a small chance of making it to the postseason, New Orleans may not want to throw in the towel just yet.
But keeping their rookie quarterback on the bench for the whole season seems like a complete waste of a draft pick, especially since NOLA has struggled with QB issues all year.
What do the Saints have to lose at this point? Payton doesn’t even necessarily need to play Book. Just activate him to open that door, should the need arise.
After losing Jameis Winston early on, and with Hill’s current state, the Saints need the depth at center.
Payton has carried three — sometimes four — quarterbacks in the 2021 season, so there’s no reason he wouldn’t activate Ian Book for at least a few games down the stretch.
Trevor Siemian squandered his chance. Taysom Hill is visibly injured. Ian Book remains the healthiest, albeit the most unproven, quarterback in the room, but keeping him inactive is only hurting his confidence.
If Book doesn’t see any action this season, he probably never will don the black-and-gold and will go down as one of NOLA’s poorer draft picks in recent history.
The time to establish offensive consistency and stability has long gone for the Saints, and letting Book suit up for a game or two has no negative consequences whatsoever.