NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Saints fans couldn’t believe their eyes when quarterback Drew Brees walked back to the bench off a throwing play in the first quarter against the Rams Sunday (Sept. 15), but the future hall-of-famer couldn’t even grip a football.
Many fans said this was a Super Bowl bound team, with Drew Brees at the helm. The quarterback only missed one game in 13 years because of injury. Now, sports analyst Jeff Duncan said in the franchise’s history, this will be one of the biggest tests of the team’s durability, resilience and teamwork.
“He is the franchise player, he’s the greatest player in the history of this organization, he’s one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL,” Duncan said.
Brees is now possibly facing surgery on his hand and recovery time until he’s back on the field, an estimated 4 - 6 weeks. Duncan said when you look at the Saints’ schedule, the next two match-ups against the Seattle Seahawks, and back home in the dome against the Dallas Cowboys, are pivotal.
“Both those teams are unbeaten, they’re 2-0," Duncan said. “There is a chance, I think, if they can steal one of these next two games where they can recover. The bye week this year is in the middle of the season, week nine. It marries up with the timetable Brees might be out.”
Everyone, both in the Saints organization and beyond, is now looking to head coach Sean Payton, who Duncan said has a history of inspiring the team through adversity.
“I think he’s going to mentally steal this team for the adversity they’re facing and bring them together and use this as a rally cry in the locker room going forward,” Duncan said.
While Duncan said we can anticipate backup quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Taysom Hill to make some plays, Brees is irreplaceable.
“I think we’re all going to see very quickly just how great Drew Brees is in his absence,” Duncan said.
He said it’s up to the rest of the team to pull together, or else Who Dats can plan on some more disappointment.
“That’s the challenge of the team going forward," Duncan said. "How do the coaching staff and leaders in the locker room get this team to play better because they’re going to have to all rise to the occasion without Drew Brees?”