NFL injury news: How will Drew Brees injury affect Saints schedule, Eagles game?

Adam Hermann
·3 min read

Could Brees injury keep him out of Eagles-Saints matchup? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Drew Brees missed a large portion of the second half in the Saints' Week 10 win over the 49ers. On Monday, the news about Brees' injury did not sound good.

Brees suffered multiple rib fractures on both sides of his chest, according to ESPN, and also a collapsed lung on the right side of his body. Doctors are cautioning Brees to be careful, per ESPN.

What does this mean for Brees' season, and for the Eagles?

The Birds are scheduled to meet Brees and the Saints on Dec. 13 in Week 14, or four weeks after Brees suffered his injury.

Here's what sources are telling ESPN about Brees' recovery window:

"The most optimistic timetable for a return is two to three weeks, but the people involved are prepared for it to be longer, a source told ESPN's Dan Graziano. It will depend on how long his injuries take to heal, which varies from patient to patient, and when the Saints are convinced he is able to take a hit without risk of serious re-injury. There is hope that he returns in time for the playoffs."

So it sounds like the 41-year-old quarterback might be able to return after three weeks off, which would put him back in the lineup against the Eagles.

But it also sounds like the two-to-three-week window is optimistic, and the Saints probably don't want to rush their veteran quarterback back and risk re-injury when they're sitting at 7-2 in first place in the NFC South, and a healthy Brees could pilot them on a deep playoff run.

It's just my gut, but I'd be shocked to see Brees back on the field against the Eagles in Week 14.

Which is interesting news for the Birds, because after Sunday's embarrassing loss to the Giants, they would ideally like to steal one win in their upcoming brutal five-game stretch to try and stay ahead of the field in the NFC East.

Not facing Brees could help their prospects against New Orleans: the future Hall of Famer has overcome a rough start this season and is playing extremely well. Through eight-plus games, Brees has 18 touchdowns to three interceptions with a 74.3% completion percentage and is averaging 7.4 yards per attempt.

If Brees is out long-term, I'd imagine the Saints will use Jameis Winston as the starting quarterback. They turned to Winston on Sunday, and Winston has substantial experience as a starter compared to Taysom Hill's use as a gadget player.

The Eagles have faced Winston just once, a pathetic 45-17 loss to the Bucs in Winston's rookie year, and the final year of the Chip Kelly era. Winston threw for five touchdown passes in the win. And, historically, the most enticing part about facing Winston has been the ability to turn him over, particularly with interceptions. But this year's Eagles team has just three interceptions through nine games, a wildly low total that puts them on pace for a Top 10 fewest interceptions by an entire team in NFL history.

So... maybe it's not a blessing after all, especially considering the way the Eagles have played this season against inferior QBs like Daniel Jones and Dwayne Haskins.

But it's certainly noteworthy, and should make for a fascinating storyline should Brees remained sidelined in a month.