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AROUND THE SHIELD — Taysom Hill gave everything he could to push New Orleans into the 2022 NFL playoffs, including a previously injured left foot, in Sunday's season finale.
Not even that proved to be enough.
The former BYU quarterback completed 7-of-9 passes for 107 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter of the Saints' 30-20 win over Atlanta.
But Hill left the game after coming down awkwardly on his left foot following a 1-yard gain in the second quarter, and the Pocatello, Idaho, native limped to the locker room with his shoe in his hand and helmet hanging over his shoulder.
Saints coach Sean Payton said Hill suffered a Lisfranc injury — a familiar ailment for the 6-foot-2, 220-pound signal caller who suffered the same injury in the same foot in the Cougars' season opener against Nebraska in 2015.
"We just don't know to what degree," Payton said after the game, before adding: "We'll have more once we do a little further evaluation tomorrow."
Hill threw for 978 yards and four touchdowns with five interceptions in a season where he started as the backup and replaced Jameis Winston after an injury. He also ran for 374 yards and five scores.
The 31-year-old quarterback started the last five games of the regular season, becoming one of four starting quarterbacks on the season for the Saints.
Much like in BYU's win over the Huskers, Hill's backup helped his team to the win. Trevor Siemian completed 9-of-15 passes for 71 yards and two touchdowns to help New Orleans hold off the Falcons, who had already been eliminated from postseason contention.
But the Saints were eliminated from playoff contention anyway after San Francisco rallied from a 17-0 deficit to stun the Rams 27-24 in overtime. Former BYU linebacker Fred Warner had eight tackles and a sack in the 49ers' win, while the Rams still clinched the NFC West title with Arizona's 38-30 loss to Seattle.
"Obviously, the other game didn't go the way we wanted," Payton said. "I'm proud of this group. Fought hard all season."
The NFL's second Week 18 of the regular season since the merger faced a competitive quandary early Sunday when the Jaguars stunned the Colts for their third win of the season 26-11.
The result left Las Vegas and the LA Chargers both needing a win to clinch a playoff berth, along with the Steelers. But if the two teams played to a tie, both the Chargers and Raiders would head to the postseason and Pittsburgh would head home.
In the end, there was no intentional kneeling; Las Vegas, which gave up a 15-point lead, took advantage of the Chargers' timeout to end overtime, and Daniel Carlson kicked a 47-yard field goal as time expired to earn a 35-32 win and send the Steelers to Kansas City.
"We knew no matter what that we didn't want to tie. We wanted to win the football game," Raiders quarterback Derek Carr told NBC after the game. "My mindset was that we wanted to be the only team moving on after this."
The postseason will go on as normal — or at least, mostly normal.
Under terms of the NFL's brand-new contract with Disney, ESPN and ABC will host a Monday Wild Card. Here's the complete schedule of the opening round of the playoffs:
Saturday, Jan. 15
- AFC: Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals, 2:30 p.m. MT (NBC, Peacock)
- AFC: New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills, 6:15 p.m. MT (CBS, Paramount+)
Sunday, Jan. 16
- NFC: Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 11 a.m. MT (FOX)
- NFC: San Francisco 49ers at Dallas Cowboys, 2:30 p.m. MT (CBS, Nickelodeon, Paramount+, Amazon Prime Video)
- AFC: Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs, 6:15 p.m. MT (NBC, Peacock)
Monday, Jan. 17
- NFC: Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams, 6:15 p.m. MT (ESPN/ABC, ESPN2, ESPN+)
**NFC top seed Green Bay and AFC top seed Tennessee received byes.
Here's how other former college and high school football standouts from the state of Utah performed in Week 18 of the 2021 NFL season.
Las Vegas 35, LA Chargers 32 (OT) (Sunday Night Football)
- Andre James, OL, Herriman: Started at center.
- Dallin Leavitt, S, Utah State/BYU: Reserve safety made two tackles on defense, one on special teams.
- Jackson Barton, OT, Utah/Brighton: Inactive for Week 18.
- Kyler Fackrell, LB, Utah State: Reserve linebacker had two tackles for loss on defense.
- Michael Davis, CB, BYU: Starting cornerback totaled five tackles and a pass breakup on defense.
- Alohi Gilman, S, Orem: Reserve safety made five tackles on defense.
Tampa Bay 41, Carolina 17
- No locals on the active roster.
- Brady Christensen, OT, BYU/Bountiful: Started at left tackle.
Miami 33, New England 24
- Eric Rowe, DB, Utah: Reserve safety made one tackle on defense.
- Kyle Van Noy, LB, BYU: Starting linebacker had six tackles, a 6-yard sack and a quarterback hurry on defense.
San Francisco 27, LA Rams 24
- Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Starting mike linebacker totaled eight tackles, a 6-yard sack and a quarterback hurry on defense.
- Mitch Wisnowsky, P, Utah: Punted twice for 85 yards (42.5 yard average).
- Matt Gay, K, Utah/UVU/Orem: Kicked field goal of 43 yards, three extra points and four kickoffs.
- Terrell Burgess, S, Utah: Reserve safety made five tackles on defense.
Buffalo 27, NY Jets 10
- Zack Moss, RB, Utah: Reserve running back ran five times for 8 yards
- Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah/Bingham/Snow College: Reserve defensive lineman made one tackle on defense.
- Taron Johnson, CB, Weber State: Starting nickel had four tackles on defense.
- Zach Wilson, QB, BYU/Corner Canyon: Starting quarterback completed 7-of-20 passes for 87 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown; ran for 24 yards on two carries with eight sacks taken on offense.
- Javelin Guidry, DB, Utah: Reserve cornerback also played on special teams.
- Kai Nacua, S, BYU: Reserve safety made 1.5 tackles on special teams.
New Orleans 30, Atlanta 20
- Taysom Hill, QB, BYU: Starting quarterback completed 7-of-9 passes for 107 yards, one touchdown and ran for 18 yards on five carries before exiting with a foot injury before halftime.
- Marcus Williams, FS, Utah: Starting free safety had two tackles on defense.
- Kaden Elliss, LB, Judge Memorial: Reserve linebacker made one tackle on defense, one on special teams.
- No locals on the active roster.
Seattle 38, Arizona 30
- Bobby Wagner, MLB, Utah State: Inactive for Week 18.
- Cody Barton, LB, Utah/Brighton: Starting middle linebacker totaled 12 tackles on defense.
- Bryan Mone, DT, Highland: Starting defensive tackle made one tackle on defense.
- Leki Fotu, DT, Utah/Herriman: Reserve defensive tackle made one tackle on defense.
Washington 22, NY Giants 7
Football Team (7-10)
- Dax Milne, WR, BYU/Bingham: Reserve receiver played sparingly on offense.
- Nate Orchard, DE, Utah/Highland: Inactive for Week 18.
- Devontae Booker, RB, Utah: Reserve running back ran for 30 yards on 11 carries, caught two passes for 12 yards on offense.
Minnesota 31, Chicago 17
- Nick Vigil, LB, Utah State/Fremont: Starting linebacker posted seven tackles on defense.
- Khyiris Tonga, NT, BYU/Granger: Reserve defensive lineman had three tackles on defense.
- Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah: Starting cornerback made two tackles on defense.
- Patrick Scales, LS, Utah State/Weber: Played four snaps at long snapper.
Jacksonville 26, Indianapolis 11
- Nevin Lawson, CB, Utah State: Starting cornerback had two tackles, two pass breakups on defense.
- Jay Tufele, DT, Bingham: Reserve defensive lineman made one tackle on defense.
- No locals on the active roster.
Detroit 37, Green Bay 30
- Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: Reserve running back totaled 43 yards on 13 carries, caught one pass for 9 yards on offense.
- John Penisini, DL, Utah/West Jordan/Snow College: Reserve nose tackle had one quarterback hurry on defense.
- Penei Sewell, OT, Desert Hills: Inactive for Week 18.
- Jordan Love, QB, Utah State: Backup quarterback completed 10-of-17 passes for 134 yards, including 62-yard touchdown, and ran for a 2-point conversion.
- Tipa Galeai, LB, Utah State: Reserve linebacker made two tackles on defense.
Cleveland 21, Cincinnati 16
- Brian Allen, CB, Utah: Reserve cornerback played sparingly on defense.
- Porter Gustin, DE, Salem Hills: Reserve defensive lineman played sparingly on defense.
- Jalen Davis, CB, Utah State: Inactive for Week 18.
Pittsburgh 16, Baltimore 13
- Miles KIllebrew, S, Southern Utah: Reserve safety made two tackles on defense.
- Tyler Huntley, QB, Utah: Starting quarterback completed 16-of-31 passes for 141 yards with two interceptions, two sacks taken; also ran for 72 yards on 12 carries on offense.
- Ty'Son Williams, RB, BYU: Reserve running back had a 4-yard carry on offense.
Dallas 51, Philadelphia 26 (Saturday)
- Dalton Schultz, TE, Bingham: Came off the bench to three passes for 21 yards, including touchdowns of 2 and 9 yards, on 37 offensive snaps.
- Simi Fehoko, WR, Brighton: Inactive for Week 18.
- Sua Opeta, OG, Stansbury/Weber State: Starting left guard played all 74 offensive snaps, four on special teams.
Kansas City 28, Denver 24 (Saturday)
- Daniel Sorensen, S, BYU: Reserve safety made one tackle on defense.
- Zayne Anderson, DB, BYU/Stansbury: Reserve cornerback played 20 snaps on special teams.
- Marcus Kemp, WR, Layton: Reserve receiver played 10 snaps on offense, 21 on special teams.
- Tim Patrick, WR, Utah: Starting receiver had team-high six catches for 95 yards in 42 snaps on offense.
- Garett Bolles, OT, Utah/Westlake/Snow College: Starting left tackle played all 54 snaps on offense, four on special teams.