Saints' Brees to see hand specialist after injuring thumb

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Drew Brees has played through a sprained MCL, plantar fasciitis and a couple of hand injuries during his 14 seasons with New Orleans.

The Saints quarterback says his status for future games is up in the air, though, after a thumb injury sidelined him during Sunday's 27-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Brees will meet with a specialist after he hit his throwing hand on the hand of Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald with 6:48 remaining in the first quarter.

"I am very concerned," Brees said. "I'm hoping for the best and preparing for whatever the next steps might be according to the evaluation."

Brees said he had X-rays at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, but did not want to say anything until after meeting with the hand specialist, which was expected to happen Sunday night. New Orleans is staying on the West Coast with a game at Seattle next Sunday.

Brees was in the shotgun on third-and-8 from the Saints 46 when Donald beat Saints left guard Andrus Peat and got pressure up the middle. Brees' hand hit Donald on an incomplete throw to tight end Jared Cook.

"I felt it right away. You might get jammed thumbs or fingers, different things where it swells up. This felt like it was more significant and prevented me from gripping the ball," said Brees, who was 5 of 8 for 38 yards and an interception.

Donald said he got to Brees at the last minute when he hit his hand and that he was trying to make a play.

Teddy Bridgewater came in for Brees and was 17 of 30 for 165 yards. New Orleans did not score a touchdown for only the fourth time since Sean Payton became coach in 2006.

What sabotaged the Saints were penalties and a poor game by the offensive line. Three Saints plays of more than 10 yards were wiped out by penalties while Rams defenders frequently were able to collapse the pocket.

"I thought we got whooped up front," Payton said. "Teddy came in ready to go. I didn't think we played particularly well around him. When we watch that tape tomorrow, it's not going to be pleasant for some guys."

Brees has missed only three games in his 14 seasons with the Saints with only one due to injury. He suffered a bruised rotator cuff to his right shoulder in 2015 and missed the Week 3 game against Carolina. He did not play in the 2009 and '18 regular-season finales when New Orleans rested its starters before the playoffs.

If Bridgewater does get pressed into starting duty, at least the Saints can say they have someone with experience. He started 28 games for the Minnesota Vikings in 2014 and '15 before suffering a serious knee injury during training camp in 2016.

He signed with the Jets in 2018 before being traded to New Orleans late in the preseason. He started last year's regular-season finale and went 14 for 22 with 118 yards, a touchdown and interception in a loss to Carolina.

Bridgewater didn't know if he would start next week, but said he does have a comfort level with the offense.

"It was just great to get the opportunity to go back out there and play football again. It stinks that it had to happen the way that it did," he said. "The toughest part today was just the negative plays. Every time something good might have happened, we had a penalty. So we kind of shot ourselves in the foot and we stalled drives, but it wasn't too hard to get into a rhythm today."


More AP NFL: and