The New Orleans Saints will be without their starting quarterback Drew Brees for an extended period of time after the veteran suffered a thumb injury in the first quarter of a loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Brees met with a thumb specialist in LA on Monday while the rest of the team flew to Seattle on Sunday. The diagnosis, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, is a torn ligament in his thumb on his throwing hand. Brees will undergo surgery to repair the torn ligament and will be out for approximately six weeks while he recovers.
The Saints have a bye week in Week 9 which will give Brees extra time to recover, placing his potential return in Week 10 against Atlanta. This is the first time Brees will miss a game to injury since September of 2015 when a shoulder ailment kept him out of action for one game.
It is possible New Orleans places Brees on injured reserve while he recovers from surgery, but such a move would require Brees to miss at least eight games and render him unable to practice with the team until he comes off IR. If New Orleans is to explore this route, it would open up a roster spot for an additional and temporary quarterback while Brees is out.
For now, the Saints will roll with Teddy Bridgewater as their starting quarterback. The one-time Pro-Bowler had an otherwise splendid career shattered by a horrific and gruesome leg injury just before his first preseason game in 2016 while playing for the Minnesota Vikings. Bridgewater has bounced around in years since, suiting up for the Jets before being traded to New Orleans for a third-round pick in the 2019 draft.
Replacing Drew Is Not Such a Brees
It’s not easy to replace one of the NFL’s best quarterback in history, even if it’s for just six games.
Brees is the league’s all-time leader in passing yards with over 74,000. He has been known for his clutch abilities in crunch-time, leading 35 fourth-quarter comebacks and 49 game-winning drives late in games. His most recent one came in Week 1 last Monday against the Houston Texans. Down a point, Brees led the Saints past midfield in next to no time, setting up the winning field goal.
Throughout his career, he has completed 67.7 percent of his passes as well and boasts a touchdown to interception ratio of 522 to 235. His 522 touchdown passes are tied for second with Tom Brady and just 17 behind all-time leader Peyton Manning.
At the time of his injury, Brees was closing in on the all-time pass attempts record, needing just 338 more to pass Brett Favre for the career lead. And in an offense like the Saints that relies so much on Brees and his passing prowess, they’ll have to find other ways to gain positive yards.
While Bridgewater’s dual-threat abilities make it difficult for opposing defenses to adjust, New Orleans can also use Alvin Kamara in an extended role as the main check-down while upping the number of carries he gets out of the backfield.