Drew Brees is set to return to the New Orleans Saints‘ starting lineup in time for Sunday’s marquee matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, according to coach Sean Payton.
Payton said Friday that the plan is for Brees to start Sunday.
“He’s looked good. He feels good,” Payton said. “We were encouraged at the start of the week. We wanted to see how it felt as he went through a full practice week, and he’s done a good job.”
The news wasn’t so good for star receiver Michael Thomas.
Thomas was ruled out Friday after not practicing all week due to a lingering ankle injury. Thomas had played through the injury since returning to the lineup in Week 9.
As for Brees, the Saints believe he is fully healthy and doctors have cleared him to play, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Brees, 41, returned to practice this week after missing four games because of 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Asked if there was any consideration that Brees could benefit from more time to heal, Payton said, “We wouldn’t be playing him if he wasn’t healthy and able to function and feeling good and recovered.”
This will be the first meeting between Brees and Mahomes as their teams angle for the No. 1 seed in their respective conferences.
The Saints (10-3) went 3-1 in Brees’ absence with Taysom Hill as their starting quarterback. They suffered a 24-21 loss at Philadelphia last week, which currently leaves them in line for the No. 2 seed in the NFC. (The 10-3 Green Bay Packers hold a head-to-head tiebreaker.)
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SOURCE: ESPN, Mike Triplett