New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees told ESPN on Saturday night that medics were encouraged by his progress, especially the improvement in lung function and the continued dissipation of pneumothorax suffered in the first half of last weekend’s victory over the San Francisco 49ers. They also found other broken ribs, he said.
Brees went to the reserve injured on Friday afternoon, which means he has to miss at least three games while recovering from cracked ribs and a punctured lung.
With lung damage being the main concern, Brees said he had had x-rays and CT scans and was seen by doctors every other day this week. They confirmed a total of eight rib fractures on the left side and three on the right side, he said. That’s more than double the total of tests carried out on Monday, which revealed five fractured ribs.
Brees said he believes all of the fractures on his left side happened against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks ago and that the ones on the right side were against the 49ers last Sunday.
The additional fractures became visible on medical scans when the chest swelling subsided and the damage was more easily seen, he said.
Brees described his body as having died out from injuries during the 49ers game. He said it was a lack of functionality at halftime that prompted him to inform coach Sean Payton that he would no longer be able to play. Brees said he was unable to throw the ball even 10 yards at the time.
Brees has said he hopes he will be ready to play as soon as he becomes eligible in Week 14 and can do so without further injury risk.
This is the first time Brees, 41, has been placed in IR, and it will only be the seventh game he will miss with injury in his 20-year career. Taysom Hill is expected to make the first start of his NFL career on Sunday against the Falcons for New Orleans (7-2).