New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees told ESPN Saturday night that doctors have been encouraged by his progress, specifically the improvement in lung function and the continued dissipation of the pneumothorax suffered in the first half of last weekend’s win over the San Francisco 49ers. They have also discovered additional rib fractures, he said.
Brees went on injured reserve Friday afternoon, meaning he must miss at least three games while recovering from broken ribs and a punctured lung.
With lung injuries the top concern, Brees said he underwent X-rays and CT scans and that doctors had seen him every other day this week. They have confirmed a total of eight rib fractures on his left side and three on his right, he said. That’s more than double the total of tests conducted Monday, which revealed five fractured ribs.
Brees said he believes all the fractures on his left side occurred against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers two weeks ago and that those on the right side occurred against the 49ers last Sunday.
Drew Brees has improved from his lung injury, but doctors found more fractures to his ribs. AP Photo
The additional fractures became visible on medical scans as the swelling in the chest decreased and the damage was more easily seen, he said.
Brees described his body as paralyzed from injuries during the 49ers game. He said it was a lack of functionality at halftime that led him to inform coach Sean Payton that he would no longer be able to play. Brees said he couldn’t throw the ball even 10 yards at the time.
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Brees said he hopes to be ready to play as soon as he’s eligible in Week 14 and can do so without increased risk of re-injury.
This is the first time Brees, 41, has been placed in the IR, and this will be only the seventh game he has missed due to injury in his 20-year career. Taysom Hill is expected to make his first career start in the NFL on Sunday against the Falcons for New Orleans (7-2).