Report: Drew Brees’ collapsed lung healing well, but doctors discover 6 more rib fractures

New Orleans Saints Drew Brees experienced a textbook case of good news and bad news at the doctor’s office on Saturday, days after it was revealed he had multiple rib fractures on each side and a collapsed right lung.

Per ESPN’s Ed Werder, Saints doctors are encouraged by Brees’ improvement in lung function and dissipation of his pneumothorax (read: collapsed lung), but also discovered six more rib fractures in the quarterback’s chest, bringing his grand total up to 11.

Apparently, eight of those fractures are on a single side.

The injuries were reportedly sustained over the course of two weeks, between games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers.

The Saints placed Brees on injured reserve earlier Friday, which means he will be out for at least three weeks. He was initially expected to be out at least two weeks, but his return will likely depend on the healing of his rib fractures and sheer pain tolerance.

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 01: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks on in action during a game between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints on November 01, 2020 at Soldier Stadium, in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 01: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks on in action during a game between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints on November 01, 2020 at Soldier Stadium, in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Drew Brees is going through a lot right now. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With Brees out for multiple games, the big question is who will replace him on the field.

Will Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston fill in for Drew Brees?

There aren’t many other teams that have as murky a back-up quarterback situation as the Saints.

In one corner is Taysom Hill, who the Saints spent major money on to keep around and has been treated by some as Brees’ heir apparent for years. In the other is Jameis Winston, the five-year Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter, who is in New Orleans essentially to apprentice under Brees.

Both have significant pros and cons. Winston has much more experience as a quarterback, is younger (Hill is 30 years old despite being in his fourth year in the league) and would be the more conventional choice. Hill is a dynamic runner and theoretically has a higher ceiling as the more unknown quantity, but his passing stats in college and in the NFL don’t exactly look like that of a starting-quality passer.

The most likely outcome might just be both players seeing significant playtime, with the hope that Brees can come back as soon as possible.

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