Oct 3, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) throws the ball against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady becomes NFL’s all-time passing leader

Tom Brady became the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards during his return to New England to play the Patriots on Sunday night.

Brady completed a 28-yard pass to Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammate Mike Evans with just over six minutes left in the first quarter to pass Drew Brees (80,358) by one yard.

Brady entered the contest with 80,291 yards, needing 68 to pass Brees. He is in his second season with the Buccaneers after spending 20 years with New England.

Brees was in Foxborough as part of his pregame and halftime analyst duties for NBC, which is broadcasting the game.

Brees played 20 seasons with the San Diego Chargers (2001-05) and New Orleans Saints (2006-2020). He won a Super Bowl with the Saints in the 2009 season and made 12 of his 13 Pro Bowl appearances with New Orleans.

–Field Level Media

Aug 17, 2018; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) poses with his wife Brittany Brees and sons Callen Brees and Bowen Brees and Baylen Brees and daughter Rylen Brees prior to a preseason game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Brees’ wife reveals more injuries overcome by Saints QB

Whether or not Drew Brees retires after two decades in the NFL or returns for at least one more season, his wife shed more light on what a physical challenge the 2020 season was for the veteran quarterback.

In a social media post on her private Instagram page, Brittany Brees paid tribute Wednesday morning to her husband’s challenging season — calling it “the hardest year of our lives” — by also revealing that the New Orleans Saints star battled through foot and shoulder injuries during the season, according to a NOLA.com report.

The injuries referenced by Brees’ wife were unknown publicly on top of the 11 fractured ribs and punctured lung that caused the 13-time Pro Bowl selection to miss four games in November and early December.

“The fact that you played this entire year with a torn rotator cuff, torn fascia in your foot, … then later 11 broken ribs and a collapsed lung,” Brittany Brees said in her post, per the report, “makes me think I should not have taken the epidural while giving birth to our kids.”

She termed the season “the hardest year of our lives, yet in some ways one of the best” in praising her husband’s determination in forging on in an effort to win his second Super Bowl, an effort that fell short.

The Saints’ 20-year veteran, who turned 42 last week, may have played his last NFL game in last Sunday’s 30-20 NFC Divisional Round loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, helmed by 43-year-old quarterback Tom Brady. Brees struggled in the hard-fought defeat, throwing for a playoff career-high three interceptions and just 134 passing yards.

After the game, Brees was seen giving a quick look back at the field at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome before heading into the tunnel, and into possible retirement. Fox Sports reported on its pregame show that this indeed would be Brees’ final campaign.

“I’ll answer this question one time, and that is I’m going to give myself an opportunity to think about the season, think about a lot of things, just like I did last year, and make the decision,” Brees said after the loss.

Brees missed four games while recovering from the ribs and lung injuries suffered Nov. 15 against the San Francisco 49ers. The Saints went 3-1 behind backup Taysom Hill.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Saints’ Brees to start Sunday vs. Kansas City

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will start Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, multiple outlets reported Friday.

Brees missed the past four games while recovering from 11 broken ribs and a lung injury suffered Nov. 15 against the San Francisco 49ers. The Saints (10-3) were 3-1 behind Taysom Hill.

Jameis Winston is expected to back up Brees while Hill resumes his jack-of-all-trades role.

The Saints activated Brees off IR on Wednesday, opening a 21-day window for the team to return him to the active roster.

NFL Network reported Friday that Brees, 41, practiced with the first team this week without setbacks.

Earlier this week, Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters he would not rush Brees back to action.

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

The Saints are vying with the Green Bay Packers for the No. 1 seed in the NFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs. The Packers currently hold the top spot, and every game from here on out is crucial for New Orleans.

The Chiefs (12-1) could clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC in Week 15 with a win, a loss by the Pittsburgh Steelers and a loss or tie by the Buffalo Bills.

The Bills (10-3) are scheduled to play at the Denver Broncos (5-8) on Saturday. The Steelers travel to Cincinnati (2-10-1) for a Monday night game.

–Field Level Media

Nov 22, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees prior to kickoff against the Atlanta Falcons at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Brees (ribs) returns to practice

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees returned to practice Wednesday after he fractured 11 ribs that earned him a stint on injured reserve.

The Saints activated Brees off IR on Wednesday, opening a 21-day window for the team to return him to the active roster.

Brees has missed the past four games while recovering from the ribs and lung injuries suffered Nov. 15 against the San Francisco 49ers. The Saints (10-3) have gone 3-1 behind Taysom Hill.

Though practice reportedly went well and Brees wants to return for Sunday’s mega-matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs (12-1), Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters he will not rush Brees back to action.

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

That includes throwing without limitations and with a complete range of motion.

Hill has thrown for 834 yards in the four games in place of Brees and has eight touchdowns (four passing, four rushing). But he’s fumbled six times — losing three — and taken 13 sacks in those four games.

Hill’s lone loss last week to the Philadelphia Eagles gave the Green Bay Packers the No. 1 seed in the NFC, based on a win over the Saints in Week 3.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Brees has 11 fractured ribs

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has 11 fractured ribs, ESPN reported Saturday night.

The Saints officially placed Brees on injured reserve Friday with the injuries, including a collapsed lung. Brees sustained the injuries over the course of two weeks but he left last week’s game against the San Francisco 49ers at halftime and didn’t return.

ESPN reported that Brees has had additional tests done this week that revealed the 11 affected ribs (eight on the left side, three on the right), up from the original testing earlier in the week that revealed five fractured ribs.

Brees has to miss at least three games.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Saints place Brees on IR (ribs)

The first-place New Orleans Saints are going to have to try to get by without quarterback Drew Brees for at least three weeks.

The Saints (7-2) officially placed Brees on injured reserve Friday with a rib injury. Brees sustained broken ribs, according to multiple reports, and a collapsed lung, according to ESPN, over the course of a couple weeks. He did not play in the second half of the Saints’ 27-13 home win over the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday.

Brees was on the Saints’ injury report on Wednesday and Thursday and did not practice.

Brees’ first missed game will be this Sunday at home against the Atlanta Falcons. He will also miss the Saints’ games on Nov. 29 at the Denver Broncos and Dec. 6 at the Falcons.

Jameis Winston replaced Brees against the 49ers, but multiple reports say that Taysom Hill will get the start against Atlanta after Hill got all the first-team reps in practice this week. Hill has served the Saints over the past four seasons as a read-option QB/RB/WR/TE/FB/special-teams specialist. But he has not thrown a touchdown pass since 2016 when he was still in college at BYU.

The Saints are a half game ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3) in the NFC South division.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) throws against the San Francisco 49ers during the second quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Second opinion confirms Brees’ injuries

Further testing has confirmed that New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees suffered a collapsed lung and fractured ribs, according to reports.

The 41-year-old quarterback was injured in the Saints’ 27-13 victory Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers.

The hit that eventually drove Brees from the game took place midway through the second quarter. He stayed in to finish the half, helping lead the team to a pair of scores, but was replaced at halftime by backup quarterback Jameis Winston.

The second opinion confirmed that Brees suffered a total of five fractured ribs, breaking two ribs on his right side and three on his left. Doctors believe that the rib fractures caused his lung to be punctured, according to ESPN and NFL Network.

No time frame has been determined for Brees to be able to get back on the playing field for the 7-2 Saints, who have won six in a row and are currently the No. 1 seed in the NFC with seven games left to play.

This season in nine games Brees has thrown for 2,196 yards with 18 touchdowns and just three interceptions with a quarterback rating of 110.0.

Saints head coach Sean Payton has yet to announce who the starting quarterback will be this Sunday when they host NFC South rival Atlanta (3-6).

“No update,” Payton said.

Winston played most of the second half against the 49ers, but the team could also turn to fellow backup quarterback Taysom Hill, who has yet to throw a pass in a regular season game this year, and also lines up at running back and wide receiver.

“Both of these young guys have progressed and have advanced, understanding what we’re doing, and there’s a confidence level we have in both players,” Payton said Wednesday morning. “They’re different-type players. But I think it’s a strong room, and we’re gonna lean heavily on a few of these other guys right now.”

Hill has 34 carries for 186 yards and a score to go with six catches for 74 yards and a touchdown in nine games.

Brees has been one of the most durable quarterbacks in the NFL during his 20-year career, missing just six games due to injury, including five in 2019 due to a torn thumb ligament.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) calls a play against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter of a NFL game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Brees seeking second opinion on chest injuries

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is seeking a second opinion on the extent of his chest injuries, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Tests performed Monday revealed multiple fractured ribs on both sides of his chest and a collapsed lung.

The second opinion will help the Saints decide whether to place the 41-year-old veteran on injured reserve, which would require him to miss at least three games.

Brees did not play in the second half of Sunday’s 27-13 win against the San Francisco 49ers after taking a big hit from defensive tackle Kentavius Street just before halftime.

New Orleans (7-2) brings a six-game winning streak into Sunday’s game against the visiting Atlanta Falcons (3-6).

The Saints have a decision to make at quarterback with Brees on the sidelines.

Jameis Winston played the entire second half against the 49ers and completed 6 of 10 passes for 63 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions.

Versatile backup Taysom Hill has completed 4 of 5 passes for 86 yards this season, along with rushing for 186 yards and a touchdown and catching six passes for 74 yards and a score.

–Field Level Media

Nov 15, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates against the San Francisco 49ers during the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Brees’ injuries weigh on Saints’ odds

With quarterback Drew Brees expected to miss an extended period of time due to broken ribs and a collapsed lung, the New Orleans Saints’ odds to win the NFC South took a direct hit on Monday.

The 7-2 Saints lead the NFC South by a half-game over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (7-3), and New Orleans swept the teams’ two meetings this season, which is the top tiebreaker.

The NFC South is a two-horse division with the Carolina Panthers falling to 3-7 and the Atlanta Falcons sitting at 3-6.

Before the severity of Brees’ injuries was known, the Saints’ were -275 by PointsBet to win the NFC South ahead of the Bucs (+200). After the news broke Monday, New Orleans’ division-winning odds lengthened to -210 while Tampa Bay’s shortened to +160.

Despite Brees’ injuries, other Week 10 results saw the Saints move to the head of the NFC pack at +750 to win Super Bowl LV, behind only the Kansas City Chiefs (+350) and Pittsburgh Steelers (+600). The Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks both lost on Sunday, lowering their odds to +900 and +1000, respectfully.

PointsBet told Field Level Media that there was enough Super Bowl handle at the sportsbook on several other teams that the Brees health news did not impact New Orleans’ title odds yet.

Brees, 41, is expected to be sidelined at least three weeks with multiple rib fractures on both sides of his chest and a collapsed lung, according to ESPN. He reportedly first sustained three broken ribs on his right side in the Saints’ Week 9 win over the Bucs.

The Saints play the Chiefs on Dec. 20 and have a Christmas Day game against the Minnesota Vikings. The Week 17 regular-season finale for New Orleans is Jan. 3 at Carolina.

Brees produced 76 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-13 passing Sunday in the Saints’ 27-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers. He has completed a league-best 73.5 percent of his passes for 2,196 yards with 18 touchdowns against three interceptions this season.

New Orleans plays host to the Falcons this Sunday, with Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill candidates to start in Brees’ place.

Winston completed 6 of 10 passes for 63 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions Sunday. It was the former No. 1 overall draft pick’s second appearance with the Saints since signing a one-year deal in the offseason.

Winston was 28-42 in five seasons as the starter for Tampa Bay (2015-19). He led the NFL in passing yards (5,109) and interceptions (30) last season.

–Field Level Media

Nov 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA;New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) smiles against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Brees (rib contusion) expected to miss time

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees suffered a rib contusion against the San Francisco 49ers and the team is bracing for the 79,000-yard passer to miss some time, NFL Network reported Monday.

Brees is having an MRI on Monday for cartilage damage.

Brees, 41, did not play in the second half after he absorbed a big hit before halftime from 49ers defensive tackle Kentavius Street. Jameis Winston replaced Brees at quarterback to start the second half, and the Saints pulled away for a 27-13 win.

“I was not going to be able to be effective (in the second half),” Brees said after the game. “It had nothing to do with pain. It was definitely just what my body was going to be able to do or not be able to do.”

Brees has also contended with a shoulder issue that has limited him in practice in recent weeks.

Brees has completed a league-best 73.5 percent of his passes for 2,196 yards with 18 touchdowns against three interceptions this season. He has thrown for 79,612 yards and 565 TDs for his career.

New Orleans (7-2) hosts the Atlanta Falcons (3-6) this Sunday.

–Field Level Media