As first reported by Ian Rapaport, the New Orleans Saints are “bracing for [Drew] Brees to miss some time to fully heal.” Drew Brees suffered a rib injury in Sunday’s win against the San Francisco 49ers. This injury caused Brees to miss the second half of the game. Jameis Winston took most of the snaps in the second half. The Saints improved to 7-2 with Sunday’s win but appear to be heading to more games without 41-year old Brees. An MRI has been ordered for Brees but here is what the Drew Brees injury could mean for the New Orleans Saints going forward in 2020.
Drew Brees Rib Injury
Previous Drew Brees Injury Games
Teddy Bridgewater had to take over five games for Drew Brees during the 2019 season. After losing the game where Brees was injured, the Saints won every game started by Bridgewater. Sean Payton game-planned for Bridgewater’s strengths. The Saints beat strong teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers during this stretch. These wins helped propel Bridgewater to now starting for the Carolina Panthers. Payton could have to rely on new backup quarterback Jameis Winston and repeat this performance if the Saints are going to stay in first place in the NFC.
Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill
The debate between fans will be between which quarterback should start with Brees out. Taysom Hill has been the do-all player for Sean Payton and has been in the system multiple years. To his detriment though, Hill has never started a regular-season game in the NFL. Hill has never had to have a full-game system ready as of yet. Meanwhile, Jameis Winston has been in the system less than a year, signing this previous offseason. Winston has been a starter for multiple previous years for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston has a 28-42 record as a starter with the Buccaneers. Much like Bridgewater before, if Winston sought the Saints in order to revitalize his career this could be his opportunity.
New Orleans Saints Outlook
No injury of this magnitude is ever good timing; however, Drew Brees’ rib injury might have come at a decent time schedule-wise. The Saints next four games come against no teams with current winning records. On the schedule are the Atlanta Falcons (twice), the Denver Broncos, and the Philadelphia Eagles. The two divisional games are immensely important to playoff standing. The good news for the Saints is that Jameis Winston has started many games against the Falcons in the NFC South. The bad news could be that three of these four games are on the road. Late season games in Denver and Philadelphia could have games affected by the weather. The New Orleans Saints will need to pull together as a team in order to repeat 2019’s performance behind a backup quarterback to stay in the 2020 playoff picture.
Note: After the writing of this post, ESPN’s Ed Werder reported that Brees suffered multiple fractured ribs on each side of his chest to go with a collapsed right lung.
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