Saints quarterback Drew Brees was forced out of his team's 27-13 win over the 49ers on Sunday after suffering an injury to his ribs in the first half. The 41-year-old will undergo an MRI and X-rays to assess the severity of the injury, coach Sean Payton said after the game.
The injury happened midway through the second quarter when Brees took a sack from Kentavius Street. He remained in the game but informed coaches at halftime that he was unable to continue.
"He took a heavy shot in the first half. As he came out in the second half, he felt it was really impacting him," Payton told reporters, per Jelani Scott of NFL.com. "So, specifically, he'll get an MRI and X-Rays. His back felt sore. As he tried to throw, he just came up to me and said, 'Hey, I don't feel like I'm capable of playing.' And so, quickly, we made the switch and, you know, that happens sometimes.
"He felt strong enough about letting me know and I know when he does that, which is probably gonna be the first time in 15 years, that it was significant enough where he felt like he couldn't function in the second half."
Brees was 8-for-13 for 76 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game. His status for New Orleans' Week 11 matchup against the Falcons is unknown.
While Brees said the pain was manageable, he felt the injury negatively impacted his performance enough that he chose to sit out the second half.
"I was not going to be able to be effective," Brees said of the injury. "It had nothing to do with pain. It was simply just what my body was going to be able to do or not be able to do."
Brees was replaced by Jameis Winston, who went 6-for-10 for 63 yards. Taysom Hill also took snaps at quarterback, but did not attempt a pass in the second half.