Drew Brees (thumb) likely to miss some game time

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Drew Brees looks set to miss some significant game action for the first time since joining the New Orleans Saints.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday morning that Brees is believed to have suffered a ligament issue in the thumb on his throwing hand, per sources informed of the situation, and is looking at missing some game time.

Brees visited a specialist in Los Angeles following Sunday's 27-9 loss to the Rams, and the team is expected to know the full extent of the issue later today.

The 40-year-old quarterback suffered the injury to his throwing hand on the Saints' second drive Sunday. As he released a pass to tight end Jared Cook, Brees hit the hand of defensive tackle Aaron Donald, and then had his digits pressed against his own helmet. Brees would exit the game and was seen on the sideline unable to grip a ball. He did not return.

"Yeah, I am concerned," Brees said after the game. "I am hoping it's not too significant. ... I'm hoping for the best and preparing for whatever the next steps might be according to the evaluation."

Depending on the severity of the ligament damage, Brees' timeline could vary from two to three weeks and return wearing a brace or require surgery on the thumb that would sideline him deep into the season.

The NFL's all-time leading passer has been extremely durable during his 14 years with the Saints, missing just one game due to injury in that span, back in 2015 due to a rotator cuff strain. Alas, now he's staring at his first significant missed time wearing the Fleur-de-lis.

With Brees expected to miss games, Sean Payton will turn to Teddy Bridgewater, the veteran backup who elected to stay in New Orleans as insurance instead of seeking a starting job elsewhere. The decision to remain with the Saints now appears prescient.

In his first meaningful action for the Saints with the rest of the starting group, Bridgewater completed 17 of 30 passes in relief Sunday for 165 yards and was sacked twice, leading just three field-goal drives. The entire Saints offense looked shell-shocked after Brees' exit, and the Rams defensive front dominated the game, bottling up Alvin Kamara and swarming Bridgewater.

At times Teddy B looked like the passer we remember from his Minnesota days before a devastating injury wiped out years of his career. At others, he looked skittish to pull the trigger, was late on throws and held the ball far too long. With the 26-year-old set to get all the practice reps, we'd expect he'll be better prepared to handle the fire Sunday when the Saints take on the Seahawks in Seattle. The Saints face the Seahawks, Cowboys, Bucs and Jaguars the next four weeks.

If Bridgewater falters, Payton could give Taysom Hill a shot to play full-time quarterback.

However the Saints manage the loss, with Brees set to miss games, the entire complexion of the NFC playoff picture could be altered by the time he returns.

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