It’s no secret that the now-retired Drew Brees had to deal with injuries in what turned out to be his final season, notably missing four games with multiple broken ribs and a collapsed lung.
But addressing the media at a charity golf tournament on Wednesday, Brees admitted that he had more going on than he let on during the year.
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I only felt really good in one game [Week 4 at Detroit], from the perspective I had all the tools in my toolbox,” Brees said, via Jeff Duncan of TheAthletic.com “I had a lot of limitations throughout the season as to what I could and couldn’t do. And I recognized that. And that’s really hard for a competitor. It’s really hard to know what you should be able to do, and yet you can’t, because of various injuries or things that are taking place with your body. Some of those things are just kind of freak things. You tear a plantar fascia. You get damage in your shoulder. You get broken ribs, right? A punctured lung.
“I had this abdominal thing that I was dealing with [for] pretty much most of the season. As a QB everything you do is rotation. And when you can’t rotate the way that you want, you all of a sudden begin to accommodate. Everything for you kind of narrows. I can’t make that throw. I can’t make that throw. I can’t make that throw. So what’s now in my toolbox? It’s harder to play the game that way. It is. And yet you’ve got to find a way to still get it done. And I felt like we did that. But it was difficult.”
Brees was never listed on the Saints’ injury report with the abdominal issue. He was on it for a few weeks in the middle of the season when a right shoulder injury limited him in several practices. But that did not keep him out of a game.
Brees threw for 246 yards with a pair of touchdowns and one interception in that Week 4 victory over Detroit. But even a limited Brees was better than many quarterbacks, as he finished the season with 2,942 yards, 24 touchdowns, and six interceptions — good for a 106.4 passer rating.
After 20 seasons, Brees announced his retirement on on March 14.