Although the New Orleans Saints have gone 3-0 without Drew Brees, there’s no doubt they’re a better team with No. 9 under center. However, the latest update on the future Hall of Famer should scare Saints fans.
Drew Brees hasn’t played since Week 10
For the majority of his career, Drew Brees has been incredibly durable. However, his last two seasons have been shortened by injuries.
Last year, a torn thumb ligament caused him to miss five games. The Saints managed to go 5-0 during that stretch with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback.
Unfortunately for Brees, he has suffered more damage in his age-41 season. After getting off to a scorching start through the Saints’ first eight games, he had to exit the team’s Week 10 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
Ultimately, he got diagnosed with broken ribs and a collapsed lung. New Orleans placed the star signal-caller on injured reserve on Nov. 20.
With Brees on the mend, Payton decided to go with Hill over Jameis Winston. Despite having to make some significant changes to the offense, the Saints have gone 3-0 with the BYU product as their starting quarterback.
Overall, New Orleans owns a 10-2 record and looks to be in the driver’s seat to earn a first-round playoff bye.
The latest update on Brees should scare Saints fans
On Sunday, Ian Rapoport reported that Drew Brees has begun throwing and “is progressing well with his injuries.” The 13-time Pro Bowler can suit up as early as Week 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, the latest update on the Hall of Fame-bound quarterback should scare Saints fans.
On Monday, The Athletic’s Katherine Terrell tweeted a message from Sean Payton that didn’t exactly strike an optimistic tone about Brees’ health status.
“I honestly wouldn’t be able to give you a time frame,” Payton said. “He’s like a handful of the other guys that are down there working their tails off to get back healthy, 100% and we’ll kind of see when that is.”
For Saints fans, those words should raise some red flags.
Four days before he went on IR, Brees said he “will be back in no time” on an Instagram post. But based on Payton’s comment, it certainly doesn’t sound like he’s preparing for the veteran quarterback to get back under center anytime soon.
While that could simply be a case of gamesmanship, it’s also fair to wonder whether Brees can get back to 100% health given the severity of his injuries and his age.
If he can’t return, that means Hill will continue to run the offense. But even though New Orleans has survived so far with that approach, the team doesn’t stand a chance at achieving its Super Bowl dream with him under center.
Taysom Hill is a fun story…for now
Saints fans may be feeling confident about their team at the moment, but that could quickly change if Taysom Hill remains the starting quarterback in New Orleans.
Sure, the 6-foot-2, 221-pound do-it-all threat has provided some entertaining moments. The former undrafted free agent has racked up 362 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 68 carries.. And after spending most of his career as a gadget player and special-teamer, Hill has attempted 81 passes and completed 58 of them.
However, he has played two lower-tier defenses in his first three starts. Neither the Atlanta Falcons nor the Denver Broncos have excelled on that side of the ball in 2020. So even though Hill has completed 71.6% of his attempts, he has yet to face a playoff-worthy defense.
If the Saints enter the postseason with the 30-year-old as their starter, it’s difficult to imagine him outdueling the likes of Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers. Plus, Tom Brady obviously boasts a ton of playoff experience from his dominant two-decade run with the New England Patriots.
Ultimately, the Hill experiment may be fun for now, but it will eventually run its course. By the time the playoffs come around, defensive coordinators will have had plenty of time to analyze game film and come up with a plan to shut down a “quarterback” who entered the season with zero career touchdown passes.
For Saints fans’ sake, Drew Brees better heal up sooner than later.
Otherwise, New Orleans will go another year without winning a Super Bowl.
All statistics courtesy of Pro Football Reference.