Drew Brees Officially Set to Start for Saints Against Cardinals

Monday, it was revealed that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was aiming for an early return to the starting lineup. He has since achieved that goal, according to ESPN. The veteran quarterback is now set to retake his job and face off with the Arizona Cardinals in week eight.

According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, sources have confirmed that Brees will be back in the starting lineup. He will be suiting up for the first time since week two and will be attempting to lead his 6-1 Saints to a sixth consecutive victory after backup Teddy Bridgewater achieved a 5-0 record in his stead. The timeline for Brees to return from his surgery following a loss to the Los Angeles Rams was six-to-eight weeks, but his plan was to always beat expectations.

Brees never officially said that he will be starting this week, but he admitted that it was his ultimate goal. "That's the plan," Brees said to reporters on Wednesday. "We'll see." Although the Saints did release a statement on Saturday that clarified his position.

With that detail taken care of, Brees will now assume his starting spot and attempt to prove that his torn ulnar collateral ligament is no longer a reason for concern. He has been throwing full-sized footballs for some time as part of his rehab, but the next step will be for Brees to successfully find his wide receivers and skill position players against an upstart Arizona Cardinals team that boasts a 3-3-1 record.

Without Brees in the lineup, there was concern about Bridgewater being able to keep this team on track and on top of the NFC South. However, the former Minnesota Vikings draft pick partnered with a fearsome defense and led the Saints to five straight wins. During this undefeated streak, Teddy Two Gloves completed 67.7 percent of his passes for 1,370 yards with nine touchdowns.

The Saints decided to make Bridgewater the highest-paid backup quarterback in the league during the offseason when they awarded him with a one-year, $7.25 million contract. Instead of starting for his hometown Miami Dolphins, Bridgewater instead remained with the Saints and proved to be exactly what the team needed during Brees' recovery.

Now that his job has finished, for the time being, Bridgewater will head back to the bench while Brees dons his helmet for the first time in five weeks.


(Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty)