NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Take One: Injury Details
Five broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
That is the reported severity of Drew Brees' injury. Now we know why Brees said he wasn’t going to be effective. It’s amazing he was even on the sideline in the second half.
The timeline for return is what everyone will be watching now.
So far, Brees is reportedly not going on injured reserve which is a sign that they at least have hope that he can return within a three-week window. Hopefully, Brees can return at least by their December 20th matchup with Kansas City.
Take Two: Toughness personified
We can never question the toughness and grit of Brees. Despite breaking ribs and collapsing a lung, Brees still returned to finish the drive he was hurt. Then, he came back a few minutes later to help lead his team to a much-needed two-minute touchdown drive.
Without it, I’m not sure it’s a given that the Saints win that game. By the way, he was 5/6 with 57 yards and a touchdown on the drive.
Take Three: Post-game body language
Thinking back to Brees' post-game press conference Sunday night, I was struck by how stoic he was. Last year when he injured his thumb, you could sense the despair and worry in his voice and on his face that he wasn’t going to be able to play for a while.
This one felt different. Maybe I’m wrong but I didn’t sense that same level of concern of not being able to play. Rather, it felt more like a cold realization from Brees that he knows his body has likely reached the point where it can realistically no longer handle the rigors of an NFL season, and he’s accepted that reality.
Again I could be completely wrong, but when he used the word ‘cumulative’ it was almost his way of conceding that he knew this was bound to happen.
Take Four: On field product with Brees out
It’s dangerous to assume that just because the Saints went undefeated when Brees went down last season that it will happen again this year. 5-0 with a backup quarterback is still very much an outlier in the NFL.
Last year, Teddy Bridgewater came in and calmed the situation by making sound decisions and avoiding mistakes. That’s not to say Jameis Winston can’t do that. But it is important to point out that the approach Bridgewater took is generally not the style of Winston. It will be interesting to see how Winston curtails his game to help lead the Saints. I’m not sure how much patience Sean Payton is going to have with erratic play when he has another option at his disposal.
Plus, there’s another wrinkle to this situation. Last year when Bridgewater came in, Hill’s snaps disappeared. Given Hill’s versatility, it may not be the Saints best interest to follow that script again. They need Hill on the field. In that case, the Saints should consider signing another quarterback.
Take Five: Other Observations
- Brees was wearing large protective padding covering his rib area before the game. He clearly was battling issues for weeks.
- After reviewing the film of the play Brees was hurt, it was a really bad rep from first round pick Cesar Ruiz. When the other four linemen backed up into their pass protection stance, Ruiz nearly lunged forward and lost leverage and position to Kentavius Street. When Brees tried to climb the pocket, Street had a clear path to sack him and essentially knock him out of the game.
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