NEW ORLEANS – Drew Brees struggled to predict the long-term effects of a crushing hit by San Francisco defensive tackle Kentavius Street, who landed on top of the 41-year-old quarterback after de-cleating him with a clean shot.
Brees only knew that despite how effective he was on a touchdown drive at the end of the first half, his body wouldn't let him continue beyond that on Sunday.
“When I came out in the second half and started throwing the ball (to warm up), it became really apparent that I wasn't going to be effective,” Brees said. “I'm not sure what tomorrow holds, but you can know I'm going to do everything I can to be as effective as I possibly can for next week.”
The rest of the New Orleans Saints overcame Brees’ second-half absence for a 27-13 victory over the 49ers, using Alvin Kamara's three touchdowns and a strong performance by their defense to secure their sixth straight victory.
But now it's unclear who the starting quarterback will be when the Saints (7-2) host Atlanta next weekend.
Brees said he didn't expect the injury to be “a long-term thing," but added, ”it's just a matter of how long it's going to be. And honestly, I really don't know. It's not something quite to this extent that I've experienced."
Officials flagged Street for a personal foul, ruling he violated the NFL's “bodyweight rule,” which bans defenders from landing on a defenseless passer with all or most of their weight.
Brees did not criticize Street's hit, saying only that he overheard the officials' explanation that, “by rule,” it was a foul.