NFL Wire News

Saints’ Brees bruised, not ruled out for Week 3

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METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees received a supporting second opinion on his bruised right shoulder and could play Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.

Brees has a rotator cuff contusion, the result of a hard hit to his throwing shoulder early in the second quarter in the Saints’ Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers. Response to therapy this week will determined whether Brees can play against the Panthers.

Brees avoided major injury but admitted a direct hit he took on the shoulder from the Bucs’ Jacquies Smith just as he started his throwing motion affected him on a few passes later in the game. After the hit, Brees shook his arm and rotated his shoulder while waiting for the next play call to come in.

Head coach Sean Payton also acknowledged Monday that Brees was affected by the hit, but said it was too early to tell if the 15-year veteran would miss any playing time. In nine-plus seasons with the Saints, Brees, who turns 37 in January, has never missed a snap because of injury.

“Today’s the day after. … You take a peek and see how he’s feeling, coming along, and see where we’re at Wednesday,” Payton said. “Certainly, we’ll do the best thing for him and for where he’s at. But I think it’s early to say.

“I’m not worried about Drew, but certainly, when he takes a shot like he took yesterday, and I didn’t see it until watching the film today, you want to make sure he’s healthy and he’s upright. He’s been throwing it outstanding, but he takes that shot, and obviously, that can affect you once you get hit like that.”

In an interview with the team’s flagship radio station following the game, Brees said he was fine and later said he never considered leaving the game.

He also admitted that he had trouble with the shoulder at the end of last season, but in typical Brees fashion tried to downplay Sunday’s injury.

“Everybody’s dealing with something, so you bounce back,” he said.

Brees, of course, suffered a devastating shoulder injury in the final game of the 2005 season when he was with the San Diego Chargers.

He was hurt when he tried to recover a fumble and a defensive player landed on top of him, which resulted in a torn labrum and a partial tear of the rotator cuff. Two months later, Brees signed with the Saints.

Brees didn’t have ice on his shoulder for a postgame interview Sunday and showed no outward signs of injury when he walked through the locker room during the time it was open to media Monday. He politely declined a request for an interview, which was not a surprise since Wednesday is the day he meets with reporters.

Saints’ officials had no comment on the NFL Network report and won’t have to file an injury report until Wednesday when the team returns to the practice field to begin preparing for Sunday’s road game with the Panthers.

If Brees is sidelined, journeyman Luke McCown would step in as the starter. McCown has started just nine games in his 12-year career for five teams and has thrown for 2,035 yards with nine touchdowns and 14 interceptions.


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