Idaho ties in the NFL: Gem State native gets start at QB, plays through multiple injuries

·8 min read

New Orleans quarterback Taysom Hill sustained a mallet finger injury to the middle finger on his throwing hand in the first quarter of the Saints’ 27-17 loss to Dallas last Thursday, which might be part of the reason why the Idaho native threw four interceptions.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson suffered the same injury earlier this season and needed surgery, but Hill is expected to play through the injury, according to multiple reports.

Mallet finger is an injury to the tendon that straightens the end of your finger. It is also called drop finger or baseball finger.

Hill is also dealing with a partially torn plantar fascia in his foot, according to Sports Illustrated, but he still managed to run for 101 yards on 11 carries against the Cowboys. The Highland High School graduate was 19-of-41 through the air for 264 yards and two touchdowns, along with the interceptions, including three in the fourth quarter.

Saints coach Sean Payton addressed Hill’s finger injury during a conference call Monday.

“Obviously, you prefer not to have any injury at all. And I think that there’s a comfort level that they have that it’s not going to get hurt any worse. It’s the middle finger and it’s the top ligament,” Payton said. “ ... I think we’ll know a little bit more this week as he goes through the week of practice.

“... You guys have all seen a football come off the hand, the last finger that leaves it is the index finger, the second to last finger that leaves it is the middle finger. And so hopefully he can get some good work in this week and get a comfort level as to what he can or if there are any limitations.”

Hill is expected to wear a splint on the finger — like he did Thursday — when the Saints face the N.Y. Jets on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

“It took a little getting used to,” Hill told reporters after Thursday’s game. “Anytime you’re putting something else on the finger (it affects) traction on the ball and stuff. But it was OK.”

Hill is now 3-2 as the Saints’ starting quarterback in his career. He replaced an injured Drew Brees last year for four games. New Orleans has lost five straight games.

BOISE STATE

TE, John Bates, No. 87 Washington Football Team: Started at tight end and caught three passes for a career-high 42 yards and made a tackle after Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke was intercepted in the fourth quarter. Bates played 38 snaps on offense (57%) and seven on special teams (30%) as Washington beat Las Vegas 17-15. His catch of 23 yards in the first quarter was a career long.

Washington Football Team tight end John Bates is tackled after making a catch against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of their game Sunday in Las Vegas.
Washington Football Team tight end John Bates is tackled after making a catch against the Las Vegas Raiders during the second half of their game Sunday in Las Vegas.

G, Ezra Cleveland, No. 72 Minnesota Vikings: Started at left guard and played all 76 snaps on offense and three on special teams (11%) as the Vikings lost 29-27 to Detroit.

CB, Dont’e Deayon, No. 21 Los Angeles Rams: Came off the bench and totaled two tackles while playing 42 snaps on defense (71%) in the Rams’ 37-7 win over Jacksonville.

OL, Marcus Henry, No. 53 Arizona Cardinals: Henry was on the active list but did not play in the Cardinals’ 33-22 victory over Chicago.

WR, John Hightower, No. 82 Philadelphia Eagles: Hightower is a member of the Eagles’ practice squad and was not called up for their 33-18 win over the N.Y. Jets.

DE, DeMarcus Lawrence, No. 90 Dallas Cowboys: Returned to the starting lineup after sitting out with a broken foot and made two tackles, broke up two passes and had one QB hurry in the Cowboys’ 27-17 win over New Orleans. He was initially credited with a strip sack of Saints QB Hill in the fourth quarter, but the call was reversed after a video review and ruled an incomplete pass. Lawrence played 37 snaps on defense (53%).

“It was electric,” Lawrence said in postgame interviews. “Just to play with the guys, at the level they’re playing with, and to be out there and have a little impact on the game is amazing. I’m just glad to be back. Thankful I can play this game of football that I love.

“Glad we came home with the win.”

OT, Charles Leno Jr., No. 72 Washington Football Team: Started at left tackle and played all 67 snaps on offense and three on special teams (13%) as Washington held off Las Vegas 17-15.

RB, Alexander Mattison, No. 25 Minnesota Vikings: Started in place of the injured Dalvin Cook and led the Vikings in rushing yards (90) and carries (22). He scored on an 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and caught three passes for 34 yards while playing 65 snaps on offense (86%). Mattison is averaging 4.3 yards per carry in his three starts, while just 2.4 yards per carry when he comes off the bench.

“I think for anyone playing this game, getting in a rhythm helps,” Mattison told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press on Monday. “So I think that contributes. I’m the type of back that likes to play downhill, so the more it piles up, I guess, the better the game can go for me.”

Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison scores on an 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions Sunday in Detroit.
Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison scores on an 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter against the Detroit Lions Sunday in Detroit.

RB, Jeremy McNichols, No. 28 Tennessee Titans: The Titans had a Week 13 bye.

DT, David Moa, No. 96 New York Giants: Moa is a member of the Giants’ practice squad and was not called up for their 20-9 loss to Miami.

G, John Molchon, No. 75 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Molchon is a member of the Bucs’ practice squad and was not called up for their 30-17 win over Atlanta.

C, Matt Paradis (Council High), No. 61 Carolina Panthers: The Panthers had a Week 13 bye, but Paradis is out for the season after tearing an ACL.

QB, Brett Rypien, No. 4 Denver Broncos: Rypien was not active for the Broncos’ 22-9 loss to Kansas City.

S, Darian Thompson, No. 23 Dallas Cowboys: Thompson is a member of the Cowboys’ practice squad and was not called up for their 27-17 win over New Orleans.

ILB, Tanner Vallejo, No. 51 Arizona Cardinals: Vallejo remains on injured reserve with a knee injury.

LB, Leighton Vander Esch (Salmon River High), No. 55 Dallas Cowboys: Started at outside linebacker and finished with one tackle while playing 39 snaps on defense (56%) and five on special teams (16%) in the Cowboys’ 27-17 win over New Orleans.

DE, Curtis Weaver, No. 59 Cleveland Browns: The Browns had a Week 13 bye.

CB, Avery Williams, No. 35 Atlanta Falcons: Came off the bench and returned one punt for 7 yards and one kickoff for 30 yards and also made four tackles on defense. Williams fumbled at the end of his punt return but was able to recover the football. He played five snaps on defense (7%) and 18 on special teams (69%) as the Falcons lost 30-17 to Tampa Bay.

WR, Cedrick Wilson, No. 1 Dallas Cowboys: Wilson was on the inactive list (ankle) for the Cowboys’ 27-17 win over New Orleans.

IDAHO

WR, Jeff Cotton, No. 88 Jacksonville Jaguars: Cotton is a member of the Jags’ practice squad and was not called up for their 37-7 loss to the L.A. Rams.

G/T, Jesse Davis, No. 77 Miami Dolphins: Started at right tackle and played all 69 snaps on offense and five on special teams (17%) as the Dolphins defeated the N.Y. Giants 20-9.

LB, Christian Elliss, No. 53 Philadelphia Eagles: Elliss is a member of the Eagles’ practice squad and was not called up for their 33-18 win over the N.Y. Jets.

LB, Kaden Elliss, No. 55 New Orleans Saints: Elliss was on the inactive list (hamstring) for the Saints’ 27-17 loss to Dallas.

DE, Benson Mayowa, No. 10 Seattle Seahawks: Started at outside linebacker and finished with two total tackles while playing 32 snaps on defense (55%) in the Seahawks’ 30-23 win over San Francisco.

RB, Elijhaa Penny, No. 39 New York Giants: Came off the bench and played four snaps on offense (6%) and 18 on special teams (60%) but did not record any stats in the Giants’ 20-9 loss to Miami.

HIGH SCHOOLS

DE, Porter Gustin (Emmett High), No. 94 Cleveland Browns: The Browns had a Week 13 bye.

QB, Taysom Hill (Highland High), No. 7 New Orleans Saints: Starting at quarterback, Hill had a rough outing, throwing four interceptions in a 27-17 loss to Dallas. Hill finished with 101 yards on 11 carries and completed 19-of-41 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. ESPN reported that Hill suffered a finger injury in the first quarter.

OL, Tristen Hoge (Highland High), Cleveland Browns: The Browns had a Week 13 bye.

DT, Tommy Togiai (Highland High), No. 93 Cleveland Browns: The Browns had a Week 13 bye.

DL, Jonah Williams (Rocky Mountain High), No. 92 Los Angeles Rams: Williams is a member of the Rams’ practice squad and was not called up for their 37-7 win over Jacksonville.

Note: There are currently no players from Idaho State listed on an NFL roster.

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