Saints QB Brees suffers rib fractures, collapsed lung following win

Charles McDonald New York Daily News (TNS)
Drew Brees, left, and Jameis Winston of the New Orleans Saints look on from the sideline during their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Nov. 15, 2020 in New Orleans, La. Brees suffered multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung during the game.

Drew Brees' season, and perhaps his career, is hanging in the balance.

Brees suffered multiple rib fractures on both sides of his chest and a collapsed lung during the Saints 27-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers, according to ESPN.

ESPN reported that Brees suffered three fractured ribs on the left side and two fractured ribs on the right. The collapsed lung is reportedly on his right side. It's unclear how long he will be sidelined, but ESPN reported that there is hope he could return for the playoffs.

Brees was injured following a sack by 49ers defensive lineman Kentavius Street, which resulted in a roughing the passer penalty. Brees entered the game against the 49ers with a rib contusion, which may have been aggravated during the hit from Street.

Saints offensive tackle Ryan Ramcyzk didn't even realize that Brees was hurt prior to coming out of the game because he didn't show any signs of being in pain, according to Katherine Terrell of The Athletic. After playing the entire first half, Brees did not return to the field after halftime.

The Saints will now turn to Jameis Winston as their starting quarterback until Brees is ready to get back out on the field. Winston completed six of his 10 passing attempts on Sunday for 63 yards and was sacked twice during New Orleans' win.

Winston's first start as a member of the Saints will come against their longtime rival Atlanta Falcons, who Winston is familiar with considering he spent years playing against them as the starting quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In nine career games against the Falcons, Winston has thrown for 25 touchdowns, nine interceptions and averaged 8.7 yards per attempt. Winston's teams in Tampa Bay went 4-5 in those nine games.

Brees, 41, is currently the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards with 79,612. Tom Brady is currently in second place with 77,310 yards. Prior to his injury, Brees had thrown for 18 touchdowns and three interceptions and led the Saints to a 7-2 record.