Drew Brees’ participation in the rest of the 2020 NFL season looks in doubt after the New Orleans Saints quarterback reportedly suffered multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung. 

Brees missed the entire second half of the Saints’ 27-13 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10 after appearing to be injured on a sack by Kentavius Street that was called back for a controversial penalty. 

Backup Jameis Winston completed six of his 10 passes for 63 yards in his absence as the Saints claimed victory behind a strong defensive effort and special teams miscues from the 49ers. 

However, should he be named the starter, they will likely need much more from Winston as the Saints compete for the top speed in the NFC following a report from ESPN that Brees has fractured five of his ribs, with doctors cautioning him to be careful with the damage to his lung. 

The 41-year-old signed a two-year extension with the Saints in the offseason but, while it is unclear how much time he will miss, his injuries serve as a setback to their hopes of winning a second Super Bowl together. 

New Orleans’ defeat of San Francisco moved the Saints to 7-2 but the pressure will be firmly on Winston and utility player Taysom Hill to ensure the offense is explosive while Brees is on the sideline. 

Winston has the talent to do just that yet his penchant for turnovers – he led the league with 5,109 passing yards but threw 30 interceptions to go with his 33 touchdowns in his final season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2019 – could well prove crucial. 

Saints head coach Sean Payton has yet to officially commit to a starter, with the Atlanta Falcons their opponents in Week 11.