Drew Brees Injury

Famous Jameis or Taysom Time?

Jim Rome
November 17, 2020 - 10:53 am
Drew Brees, Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill

USA Today

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When Drew Brees didn’t play in the second half of Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers, you knew he had to be hurting badly. If a guy like that isn’t playing, it has to be bad. And it turns out it is.

Here is the rundown of damage that he suffered:

3 fractured ribs on his left side

2 fractured ribs on his right side

And a punctured lung

That’s it? Didn’t want to throw in a ruptured spleen or a lacerated kidney while you were at it?

That sounds like the worst version of the 12 Days of Christmas: 3 fractured ribs, 2 fractured ribs and ONE punctured lung

Five fractured ribs and a punctured lung doesn’t sound like a sports injury, it sounds like a car accident. And one where the air bag, didn’t deploy, he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and got ejected from the vehicle: it sounds like my guy tried to train….and lost…and got dragged.

Quick question, with five busted ribs and a punctured lung – how the hell was that guy even playing in the first place? Better yet, how was he even breathing?

Because there’s this nugget: Brees suffered the broken ribs on the right side during this play in the first half.

And yet he continued to play the rest of the half. With broken ribs. That is tough as hell. And doctors reportedly believe that those fractured ribs punctured his lung. And again, he finished out the first half before saying at halftime that he couldn’t go.

No wonder. He had two fractured ribs and a punctured lung. But what about the other three fractured ribs? How did that happen?

Well, let me read this excerpt from ESPN: “The three fractured ribs on the left side are believed to have occurred in the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week. They did not show up as such on the X-ray performed at the time, possibly because of inflammation, but they were clearly seen on the CAT scan performed Monday.”

That’s right - doctors believe those ribs were broken in the second quarter off the Bucs game, but they didn’t notice them on the X-ray. I’m not a doctor. I’ve never claimed to be. It’s a difficult job, but this has been a rough year for team docs. You’ve got one puncturing a dude’s lung on an injection, another putting air into a guy’s bloodstream, and now we’re missing three broken ribs?

Scuse me! My bad!

You had three broken ribs, but I didn’t see them. Then again, Brees was listed on the injury report after the Tampa Bay game with a shoulder issue.

So what does that mean? That he had a shoulder issue in addition to the broken ribs? Or that the broken ribs were manifesting as shoulder pain? Or some combination of the two?

I’m not sure what’s crazier – Drew Brees playing with three broken ribs or Drew Brees not knowing he had three broken ribs.

Breaking a rib is really painful. You feel that on every single breath. And this guy breaks three ribs in the second quarter against Tampa Bay and plays the rest of that game and then the first half of the Niners game? That’s insane. 

One timeline that has been thrown out for injuries such as the ones that Brees has suffered is two to three weeks – and let me jump in right here to point out just how crazy that is.

If you or I suffered five broken ribs and a punctured lung, we’re done for the year. Shut it down. Let’s go home. We’re not walking further than the kitchen for two to three weeks and this guy is going to get back out there and play tackle football? Just a reminder of how tough these guys are.

But now Sean Payton has a question in front of him and that question is – if Brees is out for two to three weeks, who is the quarterback? Is it Jameis Winston, who was the primary quarterback in the second half on Sunday? Or is it Taysom Hill, who the team has suggested in the past is the quarterback of the future?

Winston has been an NFL starter in the past and seemed fine on Sunday. Not exactly laser-like in his precision, but not a total disaster.

And that disaster factor is definitely in the back of everyone’s minds. Because he was a turnover machine last year. There’s a reason why the former number one pick overall is a backup now and it’s not just because he wanted to go to New Orleans and learn from Sean Payton. 

That said, when you’re shifting on the fly and having to make changes mid-season, is it easier to shift from Brees to Winston than it is to overhaul the offense and go from Brees to Hill in the middle of a year? It sure seems like it. It sure seems like Brees to Winston is the smoother transition. You can keep the offense pretty similar to what it had been, plus you can work in more plays for Hill in that wild-card role.

If you want to go with Hill, you have to go all-in on Hill. And that might be too much at this point in the season. Whatever way he’s thinking right now, Sean Payton isn’t telling anyone.

He made it clear that he’s not going to announce it before he has to: “None of it benefits us by announcing that player earlier than later. I wouldn't project or answer that in any way. We'll see how this week unfolds."

I get that. But get this: Tayson Hill has made it clear he sees himself as a starting quarterback in this league; and if he doesn’t get the call right now and I don’t think he will, I’m pretty sure he’ll be pretty pissed; and I’m pretty sure he has every right to be.  And I’m pretty sure this why they pay Sean Payton the big bucks: to make tough decisions like this: decisions like, how do I keep this train on the tracks, while at same time not alienate a guy who we night want to be our q.b .of the future; unless we’ve already decided he’s not that. And what If ol Jameis eats a few w’s and goes all teddy Bridgewater with? Too soon to tell: especially since you know old man drew is going to kill himself to get back as quickly as he can. Freaking 2020…