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New Orleans Saints expected to sign veteran quarterback Blake Bortles

After the QB room gets heavily impacted by COVID-19 outbreak, the Saints bring in a veteran backup.

New Orleans Saints v Jacksonville Jaguars Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Per reports, the New Orleans Saints are expected to sign veteran quarterback Blake Bortles after Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian were added to the COVID/Reserve list on Thursday.

The Saints are still preparing for rookie Ian Book to start on Monday night against the Miami Dolphins, but took to the available veteran QBs in free agency to find an experienced backup.

Bortles has appeared in 78 games in his career, most recently five with the Los Angeles Rams in 2019.

Bortles has completed 59.7% of his career passes for 17,649 yards with 103 touchdowns and 75 interceptions. The Central Florida alum has also run 1.766 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Saints will start their fourth quarterback of the season, assuming Hill and Siemian remain on the list through Monday’s game. In addition, they could also have brand new backups. But having a veteran presence behind the young rookie from Notre Dame is a smart call.

In addition, the Saints could elevate WR Malcolm Perry from their practice squad. Perry was a triple-option quarterback at Navy. He only threw 113 times in his collegiate career, but ran 614 times for 4,359 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also threw an additional 10 touchdown passes.

Perry has since shifted to WR since being drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 2020 NFL draft.

The good news is that the Saints offensive scheme doesn’t have to shift much in order to support Ian Book’s skillset. But adding backup options so that, if anything were to go sideways, they don’t have to shift to their emergency QB Alvin Kamara situation.

As this situation continues to develop and change, other options may become available. It is possible for Hill and/or Siemian to come off the list ahead of Monday night thanks to the the NFL’s new health and safety protocols as long as they are vaccinated and asymptomatic.

But for that, we’ll have to wait and see. For now, it’s Ian Books turn to lead what’s available of this New Orleans Saints team on Monday. The good news: head coach Sean Payton is reportedly now back at the facility helping to prepare the young rookie.

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