Drew Brees has been assigned to re-visitation of training, yet New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton said the quarterback actually has “a ways to go” in his recuperation from 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung.
“We haven’t ruled anything just because we don’t have to,” Payton told reporters after Wednesday’s practice when asked if there is a chance that Brees could play Sunday. “He’s got a ways to go still, and he’s someone we’re not gonna just hurry back and just put him in the game.
“I think the significance of the injuries are such that you’ve gotta make sure he can function and feel confident.”
That matches what league sources revealed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Sunday: that the Saints would not race to bring Brees back in Week 15 except if he made a full recuperation, had the option to throw without limitations and had total range of movement.
Brees, nonetheless, recommended that he is getting nearer to a return in his weekly Sunday night interview with Cox Sports Television.
“Each week I feel better,” Brees told CST. “I obviously have a plan in place as to the benchmarks that I need to hit in order to get to where I know that I can play and play effectively for this team. And all I can say is I’m close.
“There’s a recovery element. There’s a strength element. And I’ll know when that time comes.”
Wednesday’s official designation to get back from the injured reserve is a positive sign in Brees’ recuperation. It implies he can continue practicing with the team, and it begins a three-week clock for the Saints to restore him to the active 53-man roster.
Brees has missed four games as a result of the injury, with backup Taysom Hill going 3-1 as the starter in his place. Slope’s first misfortune came this previous Sunday at Philadelphia – and put the Saints (10-3) behind the Green Bay Packers (10-3) in the race for the NFC’s No. 1 seed due to a head-to-head tiebreaker.
The Saints will have two games in six days in the next week. They are planned to host the Minnesota Vikings on Christmas Day.