New Orleans Saints' Taysom Hill to make first start at QB this season vs. Dallas Cowboys, source says

5:00 PM

According to a source, Hill will make his first start at quarterback for the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night, after practicing fully all week with a partially torn plantar fascia.

The Saints might not be at full strength against the Cowboys. The running back and offensive tackles are questionable with knee injuries.

A positive sign is that Kamara practiced on a limited basis all week. He is still recovering from the injury that kept him out of the past three games. The good news is that backup running back Mark Ingram is a full go after he missed this past Thursday night's loss to the Buffalo Bills with a knee injury of his own.

Armstead did not practice all week despite being back in the lineup. After missing the past two games, Ramczyk practiced on a limited basis on Monday, but was held out of practice Tuesday and Wednesday.

Defensive ends Marcus Davenport and Tanoh Kpassagnon, and linebacker Kaden Elliss were ruled out.

The injuries have taken their toll on the Saints, who have lost four straight games and are out of the playoffs.

Even if Hill is not back to full strength yet, they are hoping that he can help revive their sagging offense. The versatile player was limited to an emergency backup role over the past two weeks. He said he is feeling better this week.

Sean Payton said he wanted to see how Hill was feeling on Wednesday before naming him the starter. Hill is ready to start, barring any setbacks in his recovery.

Hill explained that a full tear is actually better in most cases since a partial tear can be so painful. He said that they have reached the point where he just has to deal with the pain and that it doesn't limit the ability to do things. Hill's running ability is a great asset for him.

Hill, 31, takes over for Trevor Siemian, who went 0-4 as the Saints' starter after he initially earned a victory in relief of the injured Jameis Winston.

Hill's opportunity comes one week after he signed a unique contract extension with the Saints that is worth a base value of $40 million over four years if he continues to play his usual role as a QB/RB/TE/WR -- but could be worth up to $95 million if he becomes

Hill was the starter for the Saints last season, but lost out to Jameis in a battle for the job in the summer.

In Week 8 he tore his knee. Hill's health has made it difficult for him to be available this season. He missed Week 8 because of a concussion he suffered in Week 5.

It's not clear if the Saints would have turned to Hill sooner if he'd been healthy. He was doing a good job in the first few weeks. The Saints offense has been affected by the number of injuries.

Hill's role with the Saints has been fascinating since they first claimed him off waivers from the Green Bay Packers. The player started playing a key role on special teams. He developed into a valuable offensive player in his multiple roles, with the belief that Hill had the potential to become the long-term heir to Brees.

During his four-game starting stint, Hill completed 71.9% of his passes, for 832 yards, 4 touchdown and 2 interceptions. He ran the ball 39 times and scored four times. He lost three turnovers and struggled to hold on to the ball when he got past his early reads or the pocket broke down.

Hill has had a quiet season so far. He is 7-of-8 for 56 yards and has no touchdown. He has run the ball 20 times. He has four catches for 52 yards.

For his career, Hill has 1,103 yards, 4 touchdown and 4 interceptions. He has run the ball for over a thousand yards and scored 14 times. He has 34 catches for 388 yards and seven touchdown.