Saints QB Drew Brees likely to miss time with rib, shoulder injuries

Drew Brees might need some rest.

The 41-year-old quarterback suffered a rib contusion in Sunday's win over the San Francisco 49ers and will undergo an MRI to look for possible cartilage damage.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero reported that the Saints are bracing for Brees to miss some time to fully heal, per sources informed of the situation.

Brees has also been dealing with an injury to his throwing shoulder that has limited his practice time in recent weeks.

The results of the MRI will tell the full story, but it appears likely the Saints could sit their veteran QB for at least a game or so to let him recover.

If Brees misses any contests, Sean Payton could turn to Jameis Winston.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB played the second half of Sunday's 27-13 win. He completed 6 of 10 passes for 63 yards, mostly throwing short to running back Alvin Kamara. Despite having a big arm, Winston attempted just two throws of more than 11 air yards, both incompletions. Winston looked particularly jittery in the red zone, where he got happy feet several times.

It's not new for a QB entering a game he's not expecting to play in to not execute at his best. Teddy Bridgewater performed similarly last year when thrust into action midway through a tilt. With a full week of practice as the starter and a game-plan tailored to his strengths, it's likely we'd see a better Winston than we did Sunday afternoon.

Last year, Bridgewater used his five-game audition to revamp his reputation and land a big deal in Carolina. It's possible Winston could do likewise.

The question is how much Sean Payton will ride Winston and how much run Taysom Hill Hill will get. Hill earned several third-and-short snaps Sunday in the second half and played extensively in running situations. How Payton handles his two backup QBs could be one of the more interesting storylines in the coming weeks if Brees is out for a stretch.

As we saw last year, and again Sunday, this Saints team is good enough to get through weeks without Brees in the lineup. Having the future Hall of Famer as healthy as possible for the playoffs is the goal.

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