Drew Brees Returns To Saints Practice, To Start Week 15

Dec. 18: Brees will get the start in the Saints’ key matchup with the Chiefs this weekend, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The team believes Brees is fully healthy, and the Saints’ doctors have cleared him to play. The Saints activated Brees from IR on Saturday. New Orleans fell out of the NFC’s top seed thanks to its loss to the Eagles last week, and a loss in the marquee battle with Kansas City could scuttle any hopes of a first-round bye.

Dec. 16: As expected, the Saints made the official step of designating Drew Brees to return to practice Wednesday. Although Brees practiced for the first time since suffering a punctured lung and 11 rib fractures Nov. 15, he still has some hurdles to negotiate before returning to action.

The Saints want to see the future Hall of Fame passer display a full range of motion before sending him back into action. His timetable has gone from being a good bet to start against the Chiefs on Sunday to being questionable “at best” for that pivotal interconference matchup.

He’s got a ways to go still, and he’s someone we’re not gonna just hurry back and just put him in the game,” Sean Payton said, via ESPN.com’s Mike Triplett. “I think the significance of the injuries are such that you’ve gotta make sure he can function and feel confident.”

Brees fared well Wednesday, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, who notes the soon-to-be 42-year-old passer was not in much pain while practicing for the first time officially in a month (video link). The Saints have three weeks to activate Brees. While the Saints are 8-1 without Brees over the past two seasons, their loss to the Eagles allowed the Packers to move past them in the race for the NFC’s bye.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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14 comments on “Drew Brees Returns To Saints Practice, To Start Week 15

  1. jay13

    Punctured lung and 11 rib fractures. The Saints don’t need him right away. I think Payton knows that. I would be shocked to see Brees play before week 16 at the earliest.

  2. wagner13

    Hot take: If the Saints want to remain in contention for the first seed, they should trot out Jameis against the Chiefs. While Taysom might be a better game manager, he does not possess the upside required to keep up with the Chiefs’ dynamic offense. Jameis could be a turnover disaster, but the only way to beat the Chiefs is to force Mahomes into mistakes and capitalize on them. Jameis at least has the potential to do this on a good day

    • tward09

      What are you saying about Taysom? He’s been successful(in terms of the W) in all his QB starts. Let him roll. Jameis, as you said, is a “turnover disaster” and will make costly mistakes, unless Payton has already made his impact

      • wagner13

        I did not say Jameis IS a turnover disaster, but COULD be. There is a major difference. While Jameis has had some disastrous outcomes, he also looked incredible at times while in Tampa. I can’t see why he wouldn’t improve under the tutelage of Payton.

        First of all, Taysom has not always been victorious, losing to the Eagles last week. His wins were against a bottom-tier Falcons secondary and a Denver team without an offense. He also struggled mightily against said Denver team. This is why I believe his upside is capped. He can game manage, but we have seen more production from Jameis in the past. In my opinion, the only way to keep up with Mahomes is to capitalize on every offensive possession. Jameis at least has a chance to do that. We have never seen Taysom play anywhere near that level

        • tjbarnaba

          You forget that Payton coached against Winston twice a year for his entire career and has had him on roster for 14 weeks. If the head coach of the Saints doesn’t see more upside in Winston over Hill, why do you?

        • jjabrony

          I get what you’re saying but I would also point out that winning time of possession is just as important so that you keep the ball out of Mahomes’ hands. The NO offense with Taysom does that better than it would with a ball flinging Winston due to the run game keeping the clock rolling. I just looked it up and in Taysom’s starts these past 4 games, they won Time of Poss in 3 of the 4. And the one they did lose in that category? Sure enough, it was to Philly. I say stick with Taysom, and only bring in Winston if you fall well behind.

          • wagner13

            I can respect that. I’m just not sure if you can keep the ball away from Mahomes. Even when Oakland and Denver planned their offenses around this strategy, Mahomes still had enough time to stay ahead. However, intelligent people can have different opinions and technically speaking, we have no idea what’s going to happen

    • bradthebluefish

      Fully agree. Winston is the only one who could rack up points in this matchup. Saints Defense better be light out stellar in this matchup if they stick with Hill.

  3. nentwigs

    Tough loss to the Eagles…
    That is the way that it goes,
    It’s the age old story of…..
    The BIRDS and the BREES !!

  4. tommytbom

    Old quarterbacks don’t retire when they should, they hang on until injury takes them away.

    • mcmillankmm

      Hard to argue against Brees for doing so…got paid $25M of cash in 2020….and could get paid another $25M in 2021

    • Yep it is

      It is hard to watch Brees, Brady, Rivers. All once terrific QB’s with a lot of zip on their throws. Now it is painful to watch. They wind up like a clock to attempt any throw and it just flutters along most look like a wounded duck falling from the sky. The young 3rd string throws with more authority. Just sad.

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