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Drew Brees 'pretty confident' he'll play vs. Panthers

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The Saints have kept quiet on the status of Drew Brees, but the team's star quarterback isn't ruling himself out for Sunday's NFC South showdown with the Carolina Panthers.

"I have every intention of playing, but I do have to take it day to day. I have to be smart with this, so that's what I'm doing," Brees told reporters on Wednesday, before later saying that he was "pretty confident" he'd suit up for Week 3.

Brees was limited during Wednesday's practice and confirmed that he "didn't throw" in the session, calling the rotator cuff he bruised last Sunday against the Buccaneers "one of those injuries ... you've got to be smart" in treating.

The veteran passer confirmed that he will make the call himself about whether or not he'll take the field against Carolina. That could come as late as Sunday morning. If Brees can't go, backup Luke McCown will take the field for his first start in two seasons.

Coach Sean Payton refused to share how reps would break down at practice this week between his two quarterbacks. Asked by a scribe what the team would do "if you have to go with McCown," Payton interrupted the question to say: "We're not going to discuss hypotheticals on a Wednesday."

Payton did reveal that the game plan would stay the same no matter who starts, per NFL Media's Omar Ruiz, saying: "It's not like we have a read-option package for one and a dropback package for the other."

If Brees sits, the Saints will start 0-3 unless McCown can ignite the club's sluggish offense against the Panthers. All in all, a nightmarish start for a New Orleans club that expected to rebound in the NFC South.

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