“It’s your biggest fear as a lineman, especially with a guy like that, is letting him down,” Strief said. “I wouldn't be telling anybody anything new or secretive if I told you it was me. I said sorry, and of course [Brees] handled it the way you’d expect.”
In the Saints' loss to the Buccaneers on Sunday, Tampa Bay defensive end Jacquies Smith got around Strief twice to deliver hits to Brees, including the one that delivered his injury. Smith now leads the NFL with four sacks.
“You’re letting your guy down and your team down and it’s disappointing,” Strief said.
Brees, who has not missed a game since the end of the 2005 season, has been publicly optimistic that he won’t have to miss time with the injury. His MRI scans were examined this week by Dr. James Andrews, who diagnosed a bruised rotator cuff and determined there was no tear.
The Saints, who have started the season with 0–2, play the 2–0 Carolina Panthers in Week 3.
- Erin Flynn