NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
USATSI

The New Orleans Saints will be without star quarterback Drew Brees for the foreseeable future. How much time will that exactly be? Well, the 41-year-old is reportedly in the process of figuring that out. Brees is having his scans sent out to other medical specialists for a second opinion to fully determine the scope of his chest injury, according to Ed Werder of ESPN. CBS Sports' Jonathan Jones confirmed on Monday that Brees has suffered broken ribs

Werder adds that the test conducted on Monday revealed multiple fractured ribs on both sides of Brees' chest and a collapsed lung. Those scans show five definitive fractures, but Werder cites a source that notes there is the possibility for more. What the additional medical professionals will determine by looking at these scans is whether or not Brees should be placed on injured reserve, which would automatically put him on the shelf for a minimum of three games. 

These injuries are said to have occurred over the course of two weeks starting with New Orleans' Week 9 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Werder reports those fractures are believed to have originated. One reason why they may not have shown up on the X-ray performed at the time could be due to inflammation. Brees did not play in the second half of last Sunday's win over the 49ers because of difficulty breathing. 

Drew Brees
QB •
CMP%73.5
YDs2196
TD18
INT3
YD/Att7.37

"He took a heavy shot in the first half. As he came out in the second half, he felt it was really impacting him," said head coach Sean Payton after Sunday's win. "He will receive an MRI and an X-ray. His back felt sore. As he tried to throw, he just came up to me and said, 'Hey, I do not think that I am capable of playing.' So, quickly, we made the switch and that happens sometimes."

"I was not going to be able to be effective," added Brees. "It had nothing to do with pain. It was definitely just what my body was going to be able to do or not be able to do."

With Brees on the sideline, Jameis Winston came in under duress. The former No. 1 overall pick completed six of his 10 throws for 63 yards, helping New Orleans cap off the 27-13 win. With Brees likely on the shelf for an extended period of time, it will be curious to see if Winston and resurrect his career in a similar fashion to Teddy Bridgewater, who went 5-0 in his starts for the Saints last year when Brees missed time due to injury.