The 2019 season may have just taken a turn for the worst for the New Orleans Saints. Quarterback Drew Brees, who exited Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams with a thumb injury on his throwing hand is seeking a second opinion from a hand specialist in LA on his injury.
And the initial fears from both Brees and the Saints are that the injury could be significant.
Brees is one of the top quarterbacks all-time and is currently the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader with 74,807 and counting. But an injury to his throwing hand may impact his ability to lead a pass-heavy offense.
After having his thumb taped up, Brees did not return to the game as backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater attempted to lead the Saints against an improved Rams defense. While Bridgewater held his own, he looked raw having not played consistently since 2015.
But for now, the attention turns to Brees and how long he will be sidelined dealing with this thumb injury. The injury occurred on a first-quarter pass to Jared Cook that fell incomplete. On the follow-through, Brees hit Aaron Donald’s hand with the pass and did not return to the game following that third-down play.
Saints Quarterback Depth
If Brees is to miss any time it will be Teddy Bridgewater taking the reigns under center. While it’s tough to replicate the same offensive production Brees can create, Bridgewater is skilled in his own right and was selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl before a severe leg injury derailed his career.
There’s also dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill who consistently takes snaps at QB on direct snap plays and features on special teams as well. Hill has only thrown seven passes in his career and has seen most of his touches on offense as a runner or even receiver.
As for free agents, there are a few options that stick out. Jeff Driskel probably has the most experience but he has been dealing with injuries that may impact his production. Cody Kessler is also available after being cut by Philadelphia out of the preseason.
Drew Brees has been particularly durable throughout his career. He missed just one game to injury while a member of the Saints and that came back in September 2015 following a rotator cuff strain on his throwing arm.
Later that season he suffered a torn plantar fascia in his right foot but played through the injury. Brees also played through an MCL sprain in 2010 despite reports that the ligament may have been torn.
And in 2005, Brees had his most significant ailment and when he tore his labrum in the season finale while still a member of the Chargers. He dove on the ground after a fumble but was hit by Denver defensive tackle Gerard Warren while on the ground, causing the injury.
He signed with the Saints less than three months later after undergoing reparative surgery to fix his shoulder, an injury that hasn’t hindered his on-field ability.