Drew Brees expected to return to practice, questionable for Chiefs game

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 08: Drew Brees #9 and head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 08: Drew Brees #9 and head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is back under center. 

When Drew Brees got hurt in Week 10, many wondered if the New Orleans Saints would stumble off the track. Instead, Taysom Hill led them to a 3-1 record over the past month.

One loss certainly won’t hurt the Saints, but it also shows that the team shouldn’t be taken seriously if Hill is the playoff quarterback. Now, it’s looking like they won’t have to worry about a scheme where Brees is left out.

According to Saints coach Sean Payton, Brees can officially return to practice after suffering 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung and is off the team’s injured reserve list. The news was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and later confirmed by team officials.

The question now turns to whether Brees will be able to play in Sunday’s showdown against the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs. At the moment, Payton believes the 41-year-old quarterback still has “a ways to go” in his overall recovery process.

“We haven’t ruled anything just because we don’t have to,” Payton told reporters Wednesday. “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.”

How essential is Drew Brees in order to win?

Brees returning is a step in the right direction, but the franchise isn’t out of the woods yet. Hill’s magic eventually hit the wall in a 24-21 defeat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Then again, the Saints’ defense was facing off against Jalen Hurts in his very first start, with little to no tape.

New Orleans now technically sits in the No. 2 position for the NFC playoff picture behind the Green Bay Packers. While both teams currently have 10-3 records, the Packers hold the tiebreaker in a head-to-head situation after Aaron Rodgers helped Green Bay win 37-30 in Week 3.

The Saints will close the season out with Kansas City and then games against the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers. Kirk Cousins has impressed of late, while the run game is top-notch behind the legs of Dalvin Cook.

With Sunday being crucial to NFC seeding, Brees could be returning at the right time. If he takes the field Sunday afternoon, this might lead to a big win against Patrick Mahomes and the league’s top roster.

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