Drew Brees won't be the starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints until November, but don't underestimate a faster than anticipated return. Brees, who had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb last week, is expected to return as the starting quarterback in six weeks.
That would put Brees back in the lineup by the time the Saints return from their bye week on November 10, when they host the Atlanta Falcons. Brees isn't guaranteeing he'll be back by that date.
"As far as the timetable for getting back though, they say six-to-eight weeks," Brees said on a radio interview with WWL Radio, via nola.com. "I think I can beat that, but I'm just gonna take it one week at a time and see how things go."
If Brees does return before the six-week timetable, the Saints quarterback would be back before the team's bye week in Week 9 (November 3). The Saints host the Arizona Cardinals on October 27 (Week 8), which would be a reasonable return date for Brees. New Orleans has a road game against the Chicago Bears on October 20, which would be slightly over a month since the thumb injury.
Brees will be with the Saints for Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys after spending a week in Los Angeles rehabbing from the thumb injury. The Saints won their first game without Brees in the lineup, as No. 2 quarterback Teddy Bridgewater finished 19-for-27 (70.37 percent) for 177 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions and an 112.7 passer rating. New Orleans did only have 265 yards of offense despite putting up 33 points, 14 of which were from defensive and special teams touchdowns.
"There's a handful of things that we think he does particularly well, so you might feature or work a little bit more specifically on," Saints head coach Sean Payton said of Bridgewater. "There's a general philosophy offensively and then there's some things that we think he does really well. It's trying to put those in in a plan that that fits the opponent you're playing."