METAIRIE, La. “Drew Brees will return to the New Orleans Saints starting lineup in time for Sunday’s game against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs,” a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The saints believe that Brees is completely healthy and the doctors let him play, the source told Schefter.
It will be the first meeting between the two elite defenders, as their teams move to number 1 in their conferences.
Brees, 41, returned to training this week after missing four games due to 11 broken ribs and a perforated lung. Saints coach Sean Payton insisted that Brees would not be rushed to the line and that he would have to be “asymptomatic, feeling good, strong and as if he could work and be an asset and can play well.” It seems that Brees met the standard he had to meet.
“There is an element of recovery, there is an element of strength. And I will know when that moment will come,” Brees said in his most recent interview with Cox Sports Television on Sunday night.
Saints (10-3) went 3-1 in the absence of Brees, with Taysom Hill as the starting defender. They suffered a 24-21 loss to Philadelphia last week, which now leaves them in 2nd place in the NFC rankings. (The 10-3 Green Bay Packers have a butt tiebreaker.)
With Brees back on the starting lineup, Jameis Winston will continue to be the No. 1 defender. 2 of the Saints, with Hill playing the lead role, including a few plays at QB, said a source for Schefter.
Brees has always prided himself on trying to exceed doctors’ projected schedules when it comes to recovery from injuries. But he could have even more incentives than usual this 20th season, as it could be his last.
Although Brees never made an announcement about when he intends to retire, sources told Schefter that he expects to do so after this season. Payton also suggested that the Saints prepare for this possibility when talking about the long-term prospects of the defensive team. Brees already has a post-game career lined up as an analyst for NBC.
Until last year, Brees missed a single game in his entire NFL career due to injury. But he missed five games in 2019 due to a torn ligament in his thumb and four other games this year.
Brees suffered a perforated lung and some broken ribs during a Week 10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He played the last eight minutes of the first half – and completed two touchdowns – before being unable to continue playing after the break.
Doctors believe the rest of his broken ribs occurred a week earlier in Tampa Bay’s Holy Week 9 victory.
Although Brees faced control over his lack of throws since the beginning of this season, he and the Saints came back impressively after a 1-2 start. He ranks third in the NFL in Total QBR (80.6) with 18 TD assists, three interceptions, a 73.5% league lead and 2,196 passing yards.
The Saints will have two games in six days next week. They are scheduled to host the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day.