New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees landed on Injured Reserve following victories over the San Francisco 49ers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Reports surfaced at the time that he had a collapsed lung and three fractured ribs. Further scans now reveal that Brees has even more injuries.
According to Ed Werder of ESPN, Brees underwent X-rays and CAT scans and saw his doctors every day this week. The medical professionals confirmed that the veteran quarterback has 11 fractured ribs — eight on the left and three on the right. Previous reports indicated that he suffered three fractured ribs during a blowout victory over the Buccaneers and two more against the 49ers.
"I fractured one rib in 2007 against the Oakland Raiders (thanks Warren Sapp)," quarterback Sage Rosenfels tweeted on Sunday. "I took a needle to numb it and halftime and played the second half. That rib still bothers me to this day. Sometimes I wake up at night because of it. 11 ribs? Unreal."
The Saints made the decision on Friday to place Brees on Injured Reserve. This roster move meant that he would miss Sunday's battle with the Atlanta Falcons, as well as a game against the Denver Broncos and a rematch with the Dirty Birds. He will be eligible to return to the active roster against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 14.
The expectation following the game against the 49ers was that Jameis Winston would start in Brees' place for at least three games. However, the team announced a change. Taysom Hill, a do-it-all weapon, became the starter against the Falcons and for the immediate future. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported on Sunday that this move was made so Sean Payton could determine if Hill is the quarterback of the future when Brees retires.
"I'm just taking it one day at a time. I've done that this entire season. And I'll continue to do that. I'm not sure what tomorrow holds," Brees told reporters after the 49ers game. "But you can know I'm gonna do everything I can to be as effective as I possibly can come next week. I mean, nothing's a long-term thing. It's just a matter of how long it's gonna be. And honestly, I really don't know. It's not something, quite to this extent, that I've experienced."
Before the injuries, Brees was midway through another productive season. He had completed 73.5% of his passes for 2,196 yards, 18 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also recorded a 110.0 passer rating, marking the sixth consecutive season with a rating over 100.