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Saints' Drew Brees suffers 11 rib fractures, most sustained during Bucs game 2 weeks ago

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Injured New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is progressing well, but he said doctors discovered several more rib fractures Saturday night.

Initial reports Monday indicated that Brees suffered five fractured ribs, but he told ESPN on Saturday that further X-rays and CAT scans revealed a total of 11 rib fractures — eight on his left side and three on his right. 

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Brees was unable to finish last week’s game against the 49ers after absorbing a heavy hit on a sack attempt by 287-pound San Francisco defensive tackle Kentavius Street, who was penalized for roughing on the play.

The quarterback was placed on the injured reserve list Friday, meaning he would miss at least three games — beginning with the Week 11 game against the Atlanta Falcons.

But Brees believes that not all of his injuries stemmed from Street’s tackle. 

The 2009 Super Bowl champ told ESPN that all of the fractures on his left side were likely sustained during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game two weeks ago but were only visible on his new scans after the swelling went down. 

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The hope is Brees will be able to return in Week 14. In the meantime, head coach Sean Payton named Taysom Hill the starter against the Falcons on Sunday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Saints pull QB shocker with Taysom Hill over Jameis Winston

Here’s the definitive proof that the Saints are not bluffing about Taysom Hill’s bright future at quarterback.

Hill, not Jameis Winston, is expected to start Sunday for the Saints against the Falcons, according to multiple reports. The widespread assumption was that Winston would inherit the job with Drew Brees sidelined, just as he replaced Brees in the second half of last week’s game.

But coach Sean Payton has an infatuation with the versatile Hill, who takes snaps as a Wildcat quarterback even when Brees is healthy. Hill, 30, will make his first career start at quarterback after making 13 starts at other positions in his first 46 career games.

Hill is 10-of-18 passing for 205 yards with an interception during his career. Compare those numbers to his career numbers as a rusher and receiver – 98 carries for 538 yards and four touchdowns plus 28 catches for 312 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Saints were mocked for signing Hill to a two-year, $21 million extension in April, but that would be a bargain for a starting quarterback.

Winston, the former No. 1 overall draft pick, signed a one-year contract worth $1.1 million after going 28-42 in 70 career starts for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston wanted to learn through osmosis from the ideal dynamic of Payton-Brees and possibly have a leg up on replacing the NFL’s all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns if Brees retires at season’s end.

But the Saints were forced to reveal a true pecking order when Brees suffered fractured ribs and a collapsed lung.

It is possible that Hill and Winston will split snaps in the game, with Hill getting the start in a run-based package. But Hill reportedly took the bulk of the starter reps in practice this week and the two quarterbacks thrive in very different offensive gameplans, so that would be a big task for coaches and teammates to adjust on the fly.

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