NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Drew Brees is set to miss consecutive games for the second straight season after being placed on injured reserve by the New Orleans Saints Friday. Whether he misses the minimum of three games will be determined by the severity of his rib injuries, which turned out to be a lot more broken bones than initial tests showed.

Brees has 11 broken ribs instead of the five shown on the first test, eight on the left side and three on the right, according to ESPN's Ed Werner. Most people have 24 ribs, with 12 on each side of the body. Brees also has a collapsed lung, but says doctors have been encouraged by his progress in lung function over the past few days. 

The Saints quarterback believes the rib injuries on his left side occurred in a Week 9 loss to the New Orleans Saints, while the injuries on the right side occurred in Week 10 against the San Francisco 49ers -- when he told Saints head coach Sean Payton he couldn't go as a result of the injury. Brees believes he can be ready to play as soon is he's eligible to return from injured reserve -- which would be Week 14 against the Philadelphia Eagles

"His knowledge of what we are doing offensively (and) his expertise -- is invaluable," Payton said about Brees Friday. "He has great eyes and real good insight. It is obviously like having another coach. And last year when this happened, that wasn't the case because he was getting some scans done. And so I think it was maybe Week 2 that he joined us, but yeah, that's a big deal."

New Orleans has opted to start Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston for Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons. Hill has thrown just 18 passes in his NFL career.