There is a chance that Drew Brees returns to the New Orleans Saints this week against the Arizona Cardinals but we will not know until Sunday morning.
The New Orleans Saints have been without their Hall of Fame quarterback, the heart and soul of the entire franchise, Drew Brees, for the last five games. And over the last five games, the Saints are undefeated with three of the five wins coming against playoff teams from last season.
Teddy Bridgewater has been better than anyone could have anticipated and every single week he seems to be getting better and better. He has been more than a game-manager and legitimately would start on a lot of NFL teams.
However, he is still no Drew Brees and when Brees is 100 percent the team should undoubtedly give the offense back to the Hall of Famer. This is not a Tom Brady-Drew Bledsoe situation or even Kyle Allen-Cam Newton in Carolina, it is a no-brainer that Brees should and will return once he is ready.
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The thing that can be debated is when Brees should return. The original timetable was six weeks, which would take Brees into the bye week next week to get an extra week of rest. However, Brees has been ahead of schedule and has made it clear that he plans on starting this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.
Brees has participated in a limited fashion this week and the team is yet to make the decision between him or Bridgewater known to the public. Sean Payton said that the team will announce who will start on Sunday morning.
Hopefully, the Saints already know internally who is going to start, have made that decision and are simply waiting to make it public. If not, then the team is handling this situation as poorly as they could, which is going to hurt their chances on Sunday.
The Saints need to make a decision before the day of. It might seem trivial, but there are different gameplans for different quarterbacks and what the Saints do with Brees under center is going to be drastically different than what they do with Bridgewater under center.
Having to develop two different gameplans is a lot of unnecessary energy and just sticking to one, let’s say for Brees, can come back to bite the team if Brees is indeed not ready on Sunday morning.
This is an extreme example as the quarterbacks mentioned are not as talented but we saw the New York Jets do this a week weeks ago. Sam Darnold practiced with the first team all week but was unable to play, making way for third-stringer Luke Falk to get the start.
Falk likely was not going to have a great game regardless but without a solid baseline of reps with the first team, he was extremely poor against the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Saints have much more leeway as their Luke Falk in this situation is better than actual Sam Darnold. But still, the goal should be to avoid any sort of hang-ups and a last-second decision like this could lead to a slow start, especially if the decision is to go with Bridgewater with a gameplan designed around Brees.
To be fair, the New Orleans Saints will probably win this game either way against the Arizona Cardinals, but we should not take them for granted. Hopefully, the Saints’ decision is already made, because if not, there could be a rocky start on Sunday.