Drew Brees

Saints To Start Drew Brees In Week 8

Drew Brees will return to action Sunday. Although Sean Payton was not planning to announce a starter until Sunday, Ed Werder of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter) Brees will be tabbed to return.

The Saints have a Week 9 bye, but Brees got in three limited practices this week. Brees has been sidelined since Week 2 with a thumb injury but will step back into the lineup for a Saints team that went 5-0 with backup Teddy Bridgewater.

This marked the longest injury-related absence of Brees’ 19-year career, but he progressed ahead of schedule and will return to lead a 6-1 Saints team. Brees underwent surgery to repair a ligament in this throwing thumb but will be entrusted to keep the Saints’ win streak going.

The 12-time Pro Bowler led the team to the NFC title game last season, doing so after shattering his own completion percentage record (74.4%). The NFL’s all-time leading passer, Brees threw 32 touchdown passes for the Saints last season. The Saints are gunning for their third straight NFC South title, and Brees obviously stands to make New Orleans a more prohibitive favorite. The team is on the lookout for an additional Brees receiving target in advance of the trade deadline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Saints, Slay, Adams, Eagles

Sean Payton did not name his Week 8 starting quarterback, indicating a decision on Drew Brees‘ Week 8 status will not come until at least Saturday. The Saints‘ starting quarterback has lobbied to play Sunday against the Cardinals and worked in three limited practices this week. The future Hall of Fame quarterback has fared well in his workout sessions available to the media this week, per The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell, who would be surprised if Brees didn’t start this week (Twitter link). Brees has missed the past five Saints games with a thumb injury; Teddy Bridgewater has piloted the team to five wins in that span. New Orleans has a bye next week, so it still wouldn’t be too shocking if Brees was held out until Week 10.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • Alvin Kamara worked in a limited capacity twice this week. Listed as questionable, the Saints running back may also see the team’s upcoming bye week affect his status. Kamara is battling an ankle injury, which sidelined him last week.
  • Lions players were not thrilled that the team traded away locker room favorite Quandre Diggs, and Darius Slay was especially vocal about his displeasure. Slay, whose contract expires after the 2020 season, has previously said that he wants to remain in Detroit long-term. However, his tone changed this week when asked about the subject. “Anybody can get traded. I personally wouldn’t care,” Slay said of the possibility of the team trading him (via Pro Football Talk).
  • The Lions’ Week 8 injury report indicates the world will have to wait for a Darius Slay-Darius Slayton matchup. Detroit’s top cornerback will miss the Lions-Giants game due to a hamstring injury. Slay has battled this issue since Week 3. Second-year UDFA Mike Ford started in Slay’s place against the Chiefs, the one game the Pro Bowler missed, and will likely do so against New York.
  • Davante Adams looks set to miss a fourth game due to the turf toe issue he’s encountered. The Packers declared their top wide receiver doubtful to face the Chiefs. Green Bay’s bye is not until Week 11. This continues to be a situation to monitor for one of the NFC favorites.
  • Recently released by the struggling Eagles, Orlando Scandrick believes he was scapegoated for the team’s woes, as Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer relays (Twitter link). “The problem in Philadelphia is much, much deeper than me,” Scandrick said. The Eagles have released the veteran cornerback twice this year.

Chris Crouse contributed to this report.

Injury Updates: Brees, Ryan, Apple, Slay, Johnson

The latest injury updates from around the league:

  • Drew Brees has missed five games now, and it looks like the Saints quarterback is nearing a return. Brees said he will return to practice this week and that he hopes to play in Week 8 against the Cardinals, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com (Twitter link). That being said Brees told Triplett he’s still taking a “we’ll see” approach, so it’s far from guaranteed he suits up against Arizona. Still, he’s clearly going to be back soon. Teddy Bridgewater has gone 5-0 in his absence, so Brees’ thumb injury might end up turning out to be a blessing in disguise if it leaves him more fresh down the stretch. New Orleans picked up a big win on the road against Chicago Sunday, and their defense is playing lights out.
  • Speaking of NFC South quarterbacks, Matt Ryan left the Falcons’ loss to the Rams early with an ankle injury. Ryan was in a lot of pain and in a boot after the game, but a source said “the team does not believe the injury is serious,” per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Atlanta’s season is circling the drain as they sit at 1-6 and Dan Quinn could be fired any week, so it’s quite possible they’re cautious with Ryan. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Matt Schaub is under center next week against Seattle.
  • Cornerback Eli Apple left the Saints’ win over the Bears with a non-contact knee injury, which understandably sparked a lot of concern. The “initial belief” is that Apple hyperextended his knee, according to Nick Underhill of The Athletic (Twitter link). It’s unclear how serious the injury is and he could certainly still miss some time, but fortunately it doesn’t sound like an ACL tear. Apple has started every game for New Orleans this season, and is a key part of their defense. This one will be important to monitor.
  • Star cornerback Darius Slay and running back Kerryon Johnson both left and were ruled out of the Lions’ loss to the Vikings. There hasn’t been much of an update on either, but Slay’s was a hamstring and Johnson’s was a knee. Slay missed one game with a hamstring injury earlier this year, so it sounds like he aggravated that. Johnson missed six games with a knee injury last season, so this is obviously troubling. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more.

NFC South Notes: Brees, McCaffrey, Winston

Let’s check out a few notes from the NFC South:

  • Drew Brees could be back from his thumb injury as soon as week 8 against the Cardinals, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Brees is in close contact with a hand specialist as he works to get back to full strength and has impressed the Saints with the strides he has made thus far. His initial timeframe from his surgery puts a return in two weeks not out of the question and there has been nothing in the process so far to have altered that schedule. If Brees can practice fully that week and show an ability to play fully and normally, then a return against the Cardinals is quite possible.
  • If the Panthers don’t extend Christian McCaffrey‘s contract during the offseason, a holdout wouldn’t be surprising, according to Joel Corry of CBS Sports. McCaffrey, who has been an all around force for the Panthers this season, has the same representation as Khalil Mack and Chris Johnson. Johnson held out in 2011 with two years left on his rookie deal and eventually became one of the top paid running backs in the NFL.
  • If Jameis Winston re-signs with the Buccaneers after this season, it would not be for much more than his salary this season, the average of what an average, experienced quarterback makes, speculates Buccaneers insider Roy Cummings. Despite this, as of today’s writing, Winston has been off to an above average season thus far, throwing for 1,371 yards and 11 touchdowns through five games.

Injury Updates: Saints, Brees, Giants

Saints quarterback Drew Brees wants to return sometime before the team’s Week 9 bye, but the team wants to exercise caution and push that off until Week 10, Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports tweets. The Saints’ position makes sense, given Brees’ importance and Teddy Bridgewater‘s recent performance.

The Saints are 4-1 following Sunday’s win over the Bucs and they’ll look to make it four straight with a win over the Jaguars on Sunday afternoon.

Here’s more on some notable injuries around the NFL:

  • The Giants officially ruled out running back Saquon Barkley (ankle), tight end Evan Engram (knee), and running back Wayne Gallman (concussion) for Thursday night’s game against the Pats. The Giants showed some new signs of life following Daniel Jones‘ takeover of the offense, but they fell to the Vikings over the weekend and the odds may be stacked against them in New England.
  • Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians says edge rusher Jason Pierre-Paul will be able to resume practicing with the team next week. JPP has not missed a game over the last two seasons, but he has yet to make his 2019 debut thanks to a fractured vertebra in his neck. Recently, he restructured his deal with the Bucs, allowing him to reach free agency after the ’19 season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC South Notes: Payton, Brees, Quinn

The extension that Saints head coach Sean Payton signed last month is a whopper. Payton was making $9MM per year under his previous contract, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that the offensive guru will now be pulling down around $13MM per season. That deal is one of the largest among coaches of North American professional sports, and it obviously will put an end to speculation concerning Payton’s long-term future in the Big Easy.

Now for more from the NFC South, starting with the other face of the Saints:

  • Drew Brees is throwing a football again, as shown on a video that the Saints star posted on Instagram. Brees managed to avoid a trip to the IR, and last week we learned that he is making progress in his recovery from thumb surgery. New Orleans is 2-0 with Brees’ backup, Teddy Bridgewater, at the helm, and the club will try to make that 3-0 against Tampa Bay this afternoon. Previous reports suggested that Brees could return for the club’s November 10 matchup with the Falcons.
  • Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is on the hot seat, and Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says an Atlanta loss to the Texans today could expedite Quinn’s ouster. After all, a loss would drop the team to 1-4, and with difficult games against the Rams and Seahawks following the Falcons’ matchup with the Cardinals next week, Atlanta could be looking at a 2-6 record after the first half of the season. Atlanta has three former head coaches on its staff — offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter, tight ends coach Mike Mularkey, and receivers coach Raheem Morris — and owner Arthur Blank may be thinking about putting one of them in charge to finish out the season if Quinn can’t right the ship immediately.
  • Greg Auman of The Athletic observes that the Buccaneers could be in line for a third-round compensatory pick to offset the loss of Kwon Alexander in free agency and a fourth-rounder to offset the loss of Adam Humphries. As it currently stands, Tampa Bay signed enough outside free agents to negate those compensatory picks, but given that some of those free agents are underperforming (or barely playing), the Bucs could cut them loose prior to Week 9 to put themselves back on track for the compensatory selections. That means that Deone Bucannon, Breshad Perriman, and Bradley Pinion could all be in danger of being cut.

Injury Notes: Brees, Saquon, Green, Sam, Hill

Here are the latest injury notes from around the league as Week 4 gets underway:

 

Saints Won’t Place Drew Brees On IR

Saints coach Sean Payton says he does not plan to place quarterback Drew Brees on injured reserve. That means Brees will be eligible to return in less than eight weeks, which is excellent news for the Saints. 

This jibes with what we heard shortly after Brees was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his thumb earlier this week. The initial estimate was six weeks, so he’s likely on track for that same window.

If he’s out for six weeks, Brees will miss games against the Seahawks (this Sunday), Cowboys, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Bears, and Cardinals. After that, the Saints have a bye week, which would put Brees on target for a Nov. 10 return at home against the rival Falcons.

In the interim, the Saints are moving forward with Teddy Bridgewater as the starter and Taysom Hill as his lone backup. With Brees still on the 53-man roster, the club is unlikely to consider an outside arm to round out the QB room.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints’ Drew Brees To Miss Six Weeks?

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right thumb, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). He’ll need surgery to fix the issue, which will likely keep him out for six weeks. 

From here, the Saints will have to decide whether to place Brees on injured reserve, or keep him on the active roster. Placing Brees on IR would free up a place on the 53-man squad, but it would rule Brees out for a full eight weeks. Given Brees’ importance to the team, it seems likely that he won’t go on IR, but we should know for sure in the coming hours.

While Brees is out, backup Teddy Bridgewater figures to start for the Saints at quarterback. Of course, Taysom Hill also looms in the background.

Previous to this, Brees hadn’t missed a game since 2015. Even though Brees has beaten the odds, and Father Time, for many years, no one can escape the injury bug forever in football.

Bridgewater is the highest-paid backup in the NFL, and the team gave up draft capital to acquire him in the first place, so they clearly have confidence in the one-time Vikings star. The 26-year-old finished Sunday’s game having completed 17 of his 30 attempts for 165 yards and no touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Drew Brees “Concerned” About Thumb Injury

Quarterback Drew Brees left the Saints’ loss to the Rams today after injuring the thumb on his throwing hand. Following the game, the future Hall of Famer didn’t sound particularly optimistic about his ailment.

“Yeah I am concerned,” Brees told reporters (including ESPN’s Mike Triplett). “I’m hoping it’s not too significant.”

Brees revealed that he injured his thumb after hitting the hand of Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. The veteran didn’t return to the game, and he was seen with a lower hand/wrist wrap as he stood on the sideline. Brees told reporters after the game that he already underwent x-rays and is set to visit a hand specialist, and he warned that his status is “all up in the air right now” (via Katherine Terrell of The Athletic on Twitter).

As Triplett notes, the durable quarterback has missed only one single game since high school: a 2015 matchup against the Panthers when he was recovering from a shoulder injury. Brees also suffered a major shoulder injury towards the end of the 2005 season, but he managed to return in time for the start of the 2006 campaign.

While losing Brees would naturally have a significant impact on their season, the Saints believe highly in their backups. Teddy Bridgewater is the highest-paid backup in the NFL, and the team gave up relatively-significant draft capital to acquire him in the first place. The 26-year-old finished Sunday’s game having completed 17 of his 30 attempts for 165 yards and no touchdowns. The Saints are also rostering quarterback Taysom Hill, although the coaching staff seems to prefer him in his Swiss-Army-knife role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.