The New Orleans Saints' quarterback room was absolutely decimated this week because of COVID-19. Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemian were both placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list due to positive tests.
Before the Saints handed the keys to their offense over to Ian Book, they reportedly made a few phone calls.
According to Jeff Duncan of the Nola.com, the Saints tried to lure Drew Brees out of retirement. With only three games remaining in the regular season, the hope was that he'd lead the team to a playoff berth.
"Brees was the first person the Saints called, according to multiple sources that I spoke with this week," Duncan wrote. "Payton called him personally. Brees was in Hawaii with his family, and from what I’ve been able to gather, he gave the idea some serious thought."
Brees retired from the Saints following the 2020 season. He finished his NFL career with 80,358 passing yards and 571 touchdowns.
The Saints didn't just call Brees to see if he'd be willing to come out of retirement. They also made calls to Josh McCown and Philip Rivers.
Since the Saints were unable to lure any of these three veterans out of retirement, they've turned their attention over to Book. The Notre Dame product will be making his NFL debut on Monday night against the Dolphins.
Saints head coach Sean Payton spoke to the media about Book on Friday. He believes the rookie signal-caller is up for the challenge.
"He's played in real big games and he's done it consistently -- if you're measuring wins and losses -- better than any quarterback in Notre Dame history," Payton said, via NFL.com. "Obviously, there's a transition to this level, but I think he's up for the challenge."