New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been sidelined since August 1 with a strained oblique (side) muscle. The injury has prevented the eight-time Pro Bowler from practicing since, and Brees missed Friday night's preseason victory over the St. Louis Rams, leaving the majority of the quarterbacking duties to Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin.
Moving into the final week of their stay at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia, the Saints are scheduled to hold a light workout Sunday afternoon, and Brees remains "day to day" according to coach Sean Payton. The Saints coach has expressed relative calmness in regards to the injury, saying his quarterback's status for week 1 at Atlanta should not be in question.
"We will make sure it's something that won't be aggravated again," Payton said. "When you look at what he does on a daily basis with regards to torqueing his chest and throwing the football, you've just got to be smart. We'll see. It's day to day." The Saints expect Drew Brees to be back in action in a matter of days.
As for the nature of his injury, a normal oblique strain usually restricts any kind of movement that would aggravate the symptoms, such as stiffness and difficulty moving towards the injured side. Therefore, activities such as throwing and handing the ball off to his running backs may well be the kind of things a player with such an injury would like to avoid in an effort to ensure a quick, full recovery. This explains why the Saints have decided to err on the side of caution with their future Hall-of-Famer.
Though he has been withheld from all practices, Brees has been seen running off to the side during those workouts. He has slowly increased his workload each day, and was even seen throwing the ball with safety Jairus Byrd during warm-ups ahead of the game in St. Louis.
"I know he'll be just fine," said tight end Jimmy Graham, one of Brees' favorite targets. "He's just taking a little time off, which he needs. It's a long season."
Brees, who threw for 5,162 yards and 39 touchdowns in 2013, remains a shoo-in top-three fantasy football quarterback. With three consecutive 5,000 yard seasons and an average of just over 42 touchdown passes over that time, the 35-year-old figures to remain an ever-present boon to fantasy owners and equally-imposing menace to rival defenses on the field.
We will provide a further update on Brees and his Saints teammates during the week as they begin their preparations for the 2014 preseason home opener Friday night against the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.