NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - If the New Orleans Saints are to break out of their losing ways, quarterback Drew Brees will be the one leading the way to victory. That is if he's healthy.
On Sunday Brees was sacked early in the second quarter of the Saints loss to Tampa Bay and bruised his shoulder. After the sack, Brees was unable to accurately throw the football, especially deep passes.
After practice on Wednesday Brees was asked he had suffered a bruised rotator cuff. He said, "That sounds accurate."
How many passes did Brees throw in practice? Brees responded, "I did not throw today. I participated, but was limited for some stuff, ran around. The idea is to make progress every day."
Brees says in previous seasons he missed time throwing the football in practice and he was OK once he played in a game.
"There have been times that I haven't thrown in four or five days and come back and been fine, "stated Brees. "It's not like I'm not doing things that aren't related to throwing. Even though you may not actually be throwing a football, you're doing strengthening exercises. You're doing things that are throwing related."
Brees says he expects to play on Sunday at Carolina, but if his shoulder doesn't feel right will he be in the Saints starting lineup?
"Again, day to day, "said Brees. "Each day you wake up and see how you feel. See what you can do more compared to the day before. Obviously, you have to be smart because you don't want to aggravate it or re-injure it more. There is a balance to what we're doing here, in regards to rehabbing, recovery, and rest versus trying to get back."
Brees responded to a question about being older and his ability to throw the deep ball.
"When I dislocated my shoulder back in 2005 and (went through) rehab throughout 2006, I was told by Dr. Andrews 'you're always going to have to stay on top of that shoulder, "said Brees. "You're always going to have to do a little bit extra to keep it at the level you want to keep it at.' In a lot of ways it was the best thing that ever happened to me because I started doing things that I'd never done before. So I learned so much about my shoulder and how to manage my shoulder. I felt my shoulder was stronger than ever after the rehab process and I just stayed on those things. I continue to fine tune and add or tweak each and every off season. I have people that I talk to about those processes and continue to throughout the off season. I continue to do these things so that through the season my shoulder continues to get stronger as we get towards the end of the season."
Brees said he discussed with Dr. Andrews the possibility of re-injuring the shoulder.
"Yeah, that's what you think about when you think of your throwing shoulder, "stated Brees. "Not wanting to do more damage. I've had many conversations with Dr. Andrews many times in the last 10 years. About joint issues, he's one of my first calls since he saved my career 10 years ago. So I put a lot of trust and faith in him and what he has to say. We're both on the same page as far as my route to recovery and if and when I play on Sunday we'll be good with that."