Saints evaluating Brees injury after Rams loss

Los Angeles (AFP) –

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New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said Monday the team was seeking a second opinion on Drew Brees' injury as reports said the veteran quarterback faced a long spell on the sidelines.

Multiple reports early Monday said Brees required surgery to repair torn ligaments in his hand and was likely to be ruled out for between six to eight weeks.

The 40-year-old, the NFL's all-time passing leader, damaged his thumb early in the Saints 27-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

He spent the rest of the game on the sidelines where television footage showed him unable to pick up a football.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Payton refused to put a timetable on Brees' likely injury layoff.

"They're still in the midst of evaluating it," Payton said.

"He's had one opinion and he's having a second opinion. As soon as we know something that we can confirm, then we'll report it. But right now, that's kind of the stage we're in."

Brees was replaced by former Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is set to step up to the starting role.

Although Brees is the key figure in the Saints potent offense, and had been tipped to take the team to the Super Bowl this season, Payton said he was optimistic the team was capable of performing without the legendary signal-caller.

"We're getting ready to find out," Payton said when asked how he thought the Saints would cope with Brees' absence.

"Hopefully, the news is good and the length of time ? if there is any ? that he's out will be shorter than longer. But that's part of our sport."