The New Orleans Saints may be 5-0 in games that Teddy Bridgewater has started but that has not stopped Drew Brees from tying to rush his return from injury.
Drew Brees‘ torn thumb ligament in Week 2 seemed to be a death sentence for the New Orleans Saints. The playoffs still seemed obtainable, especially in the weak NFC South, but it did not seem likely that the Saints would earn yet another first-round bye.
Heck, some analysts and talking heads even completely wrote the Saints off after Brees was hurt and the team was thoroughly beaten by the Los Angeles Rams.
Since then, the Saints have far exceeded any expectations that were placed on them. The idea that the Saints would win their first five games without Brees, three of which coming against playoff teams from a year ago, seemed as far-fetched as the play not being pass interference in the NFC Championship.
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But that is where the Saints currently stand—with a firm grip on their destiny while arguably being the favorites in the NFC to win the Super Bowl.
They are only going to be better than they are now once Brees returns. Brees is the heart and soul of this franchise and there is no debate that he is the better quarterback than Bridgewater. Bridgewater has done good but Brees is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
As excited as it is to potentially see Brees back in action, the last thing the team needs to do is rush things. Brees is set to practice this week and is aiming to return against the Arizona Cardinals (h/t ESPN).
Drew Brees should not play this Sunday. There is no need to rush him back from injury when the Saints have been just fine without him.
Bridgwater has more than done enough to prove that he is capable of being the starting quarterback for one more week and after defeating three playoff teams, the team should have confidence in him against the lowly Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals might be 3-3-1 but they are still not even close to being on the Saints’ level. The Saints do not need Brees in this game.
The game is going to be indoors so Bridgewater should be just fine and the Saints’ defense should have a field day with a rookie quarterback in Kyler Murray. If this was against a team like the San Francisco 49ers or Green Bay Packers where it mattered for playoff seeding it would be one thing. Except it is not.
And by not playing Brees the Saints would essentially be getting two extra weeks as the bye week is the following week.
Chances are that Brees won’t reaggravate the thumb with contact as it would take very specific contact for that to be the case. However, he is still a 40-year-old quarterback that did start regressing as the year went on last season that could absolutely use the extra time off.
Brees’ competitive spirit is what makes him so great but the New Orleans Saints have to put their foot down in this instance. Drew Brees should not be playing in Week 8.