New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton isn’t one to show his hand regarding player injuries, but he’s recently dropped multiple hints that quarterback and future Hall of Famer Drew Brees won’t play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Brees, who suffered 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung during the 27-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 15, was dealing with “significant pain” last week, according to his coach. While the Saints designated the 41-year-old signal-caller to return to practice on Wednesday, Payton didn’t sound enthusiastic about sitting backup Taysom Hill for Week 15.
“We haven’t ruled anything just because we don’t have to,” Payton said of Brees after Wednesday’s practice, according to Mike Triplett of ESPN. “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.”
Hill won his first three starts and then came close to guiding the Saints to a comeback victory over the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday. Despite that loss, the Saints sit at 10-3 on the year and remain on track to win the NFC South title.
The 10-3 Green Bay Packers currently own the tiebreaker over New Orleans in the race for home-field advantage, but winning the conference’s No. 1 seed would only be worth so much to Payton if Brees experiences a setback during a December game and is sidelined through the postseason.