The Sunday showdown between New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Kansas City Chiefs standout Patrick Mahomes is officially a go. On Friday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced that the veteran signal-caller was considered “fully healthy” from a rib injury he suffered on November 15 and given the all-clear to play this weekend.
The 41-year-old suffered a punctured lung and 11 fractured ribs in the team’s 27-13 win against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston was at first his replacement, but head coach Sean Payton made the switch to Taysom Hill after one week of training. Since taking the future Hall-of-Famer’s place, Hill has recorded 834 yards, 4 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions. Guiding the NFC South leaders to a 3-1 record since Brees’ exit, Hill also notched 209 rushing yards and 4 touchdown runs during his tenure as starter.
Mahomes Showed His Admiration for Brees While Speaking To the Media Wednesday
During Wednesday’s media availability Mahomes revealed he would be “a little disappointed” if one of the league’s best would be unavailable for the Week 15 matchup. While that would delight members of Chiefs Kingdom, Mahomes apparently felt the opposite.
Via The Chiefs Wire:
“Yeah, I mean it is a little bit [disappointing]. Obviously, I have a ton of respect for Taysom (Hill) and the way that he’s been able to play and produce. I watched him when I was in college and now in the NFL, the way he’s able to go out there to throw the ball, be a quarterback, but also be one of the best athletes on the field. It’s truly special, but you want to go up against those great quarterbacks that have done it for a long time. [Brees is] another Texas guy— a guy that I’ve met a couple of times and is just a great guy.”
Prior to the 2017 NFL draft, Mahomes disclosed he had a workout with the Super Bowl XLIV champions, but “didn’t sense they were going to pick me with Drew still there.”
Chiefs DC on How To Contain the Saints’ Offense
There’s no question the Chiefs have an indomitable offense. But with Brees at the helm, so do the Saints. Not to mention, both sides boast an incredible defense as well. Kansas City’s defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo knows a thing or two about New Orlean’s capabilities–he held that same role during the 2012 campaign.
Prior to the Brees news being announced, Spagnuolo detailed how his playbook will show preparedness for whichever QB eventually suits up.
“No question they’re different,” he said. “You’re talking about a future Hall of Famer (in Brees) and a guy (in Hill) that’s playing really good football that gives us the added threat of running the ball.
“We need to defend the scheme. They do really well with whoever they put back there. There’s a lot of other weapons there besides the guy that gets the ball on the snap.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m. EST from Mercedes-Benz Superdome.