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Saints’ Brees expects to start at Carolina

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New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees has every intention of playing this week despite sustaining a shoulder injury last week that affected many of his throws in the Saints’ 26-19 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Speaking during Wednesday’s news conference, Brees said he is “pretty confident” that he will be under center when the 0-2 Saints travel to face the 2-0 Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

Brees avoided a major injury but admitted a direct hit he took on the shoulder from Bucs defensive end 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.

Reports earlier in the week indicated Brees could miss a several games. He did not throw during Wednesday’s practice.

“I do have to take it day to day, and I have to be smart with this. So that’s what I’m doing,” Brees told reporters after practice. He added that the reported diagnosis of a bruised right rotator cuff “sounds accurate.”

In the Saints’ two losses, Brees has completed nearly 63 percent of his throws for 610 yards, two touchdowns and two picks.

If Brees ends up sitting out, the Saints most likely would turn to career backup Luke McCown.


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