New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton hasn't ruled out Drew Brees from this week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs but he has acknowledged that the quarterback "has got a ways to go" before making a comeback.
Brees, who suffered 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung, missed the last four games as Taysom Hill has been starting in the place of Brees, leading the team to three wins and one loss. "We haven't ruled anything just because we don't have to," Payton told reporters after Wednesday's practice when asked if there is a chance that Brees could play Sunday, per ESPN.
"He's got a ways to go still, and he's someone we're not gonna just hurry back and just put him in the game. "I think the significance of the injuries are such that you've gotta make sure he can function and feel confident."
Even if Brees misses the game against the Chiefs, the most important thing is that he is feeling better and improving every week. "Each week I feel better," Brees told CST. "I obviously have a plan in place as to the benchmarks that I need to hit in order to get to where I know that I can play and play effectively for this team.
And all I can say is I'm close."
Brees says he will know when he feels ready to return
"There's a recovery element. There's a strength element. And I'll know when that time comes," Brees added.
Meanwhile, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson missed the first 13 minutes of the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns because he was dealing with cramps. "I was real-life cramping, like my hand, my throwing arm cramping, forearm cramping, fingers getting stuck together," Jackson said.
"I was going through it. I was ticked off." When asked what it could have caused, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said: "Who knows? Is it that? Is it the nutrition [and] the diet for two weeks? It's kind of a mystery.
I think the doctors are trying to figure all that stuff out, too." Jackson returned to the field with two minutes left to play and orchestrated a game-winning drive that resulted in a touchdown. "I was actually getting stretched and I saw it was third down, I was getting up.
I was already probably going out, if I'm not mistaken, I think I was probably already going out still. I don't even think it mattered. I was still going out regardless. I had to do it," Jackson said.