Drew Brees was placed on injured reserve by the New Orleans Saints on Friday, as the future Hall of Fame quarterback will be out for a minimum of three weeks. Brees, who missed five games due to injury last season, recently suffered multiple upper-body injuries over a two-week period, including broken ribs and a collapsed lung. The Saints, who are 7-2 and in first place in the NFC South, will host the Falcons this weekend before facing the Broncos in Denver in Week 12. They will return home to host Atlanta in Week 13.
Taysom Hill, who has attempted just 18 passes during his four seasons in New Orleans, is slated to start against the Falcons on Sunday. Hill is expected to get the nod over Jameis Winston, who led the NFL in passing yards as well as interceptions thrown in 2019.
An ironman for most of his 20-year career, Brees, the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards and touchdown passes, had played in at least 15 games during each of his first 13 seasons with the Saints. Brees, who will be 41 in January, will now miss at least eight games since the start of the 2019 season.
Hill will face a Falcons defense that is currently 25th in the NFL in scoring, 31st in passing, sixth in rushing, eighth in third down efficiency and 31st in red zone efficiency.
Saints Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara, who was also asked about the quarterback situation earlier this week, said that both Winston or Hill will be prepared to perform when their numbers are called.
"Honestly, I'm going to tell the truth. We've still got to play," Kamara said. "We don't get an automatic bye just because Drew's not playing, or because anybody's not playing. We've got to play still. It is what it is. They get paid to play just like Drew gets paid to play. They'll be ready."
The Saints are surely hoping to duplicate the success they had without Brees last season, when they went 5-0 with Teddy Bridgewater -- now with the Panthers -- under center. New Orleans has continued to have success this season despite losing All-Pro receiver Michael Thomas for six games.
"I think its resiliency," Kamara said when asked about the Saints' recent ability to have success despite their injury woes. "We know how to win. We know what it takes to win. We know how to prepare. Everybody kind of has the same [mentality] on this team. Everybody knows that you've got to be ready … Everyone knows the main goal, the bigger picture. That's what we keep in mind."