Drew Brees expected to start against Arizona in Week 8

Blake SchusterYahoo Sports Contributor
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/teams/new-orleans/" data-ylk="slk:Saints">Saints</a> quarterback Drew <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/5479/" data-ylk="slk:Brees">Brees</a> is expected to return this week after recovering from a hand injury. (Getty)
Saints quarterback Drew Brees is expected to return this week after recovering from a hand injury. (Getty)

One of the NFC’s best teams is getting stronger.

Drew Brees is expected to start Week 8 for the New Orleans Saints against the Arizona Cardinals, according to ESPN. The quarterback will make his return from a thumb injury a bit earlier than his original prognosis. Brees required surgery for a torn ligament in his throwing hand following a Week 2 loss to the Rams.

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It’s move that’s certainly going to have a some questioning the timing, but no one in Louisiana will complain about having one of the best passers in football history back on the field.

The Saints’ loss in Los Angeles has been their only defeat this season. In Brees’ absence, backup Teddy Bridgewater went 5-0 with nearly 1,400 yards passing and nine touchdowns against just two interceptions. It’s not like the Saints had many easy games during that stretch, either. Bridgewater pulled off victories against Dallas, Chicago and Seattle while leading New Orleans to the top of the NFC South.

Which is why the decision to bring back Brees now will turn some heads.

Arizona has one of the worst defenses against the pass in the league, giving up an average of 264 yards per game through the air to go with 17 touchdowns. Bridgewater should be able to handle that comfortably after what he did against the Bears. That’s only relevant in this scenario because New Orleans will have a bye in Week 9 before back-to-back division matchups against Atlanta and Tampa Bay. Rather than give their franchise quarterback two extra weeks to rest and work with the offense in practice, head coach Sean Payton is putting him on the field.

Brees is a future Hall of Famer and unquestionably the best quarterback in the division. As much as it may be confusing, you don’t have to dig too deep to figure out why he’s getting the start.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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