As Brees heads for surgery, Saints stay silent on who replaces him

Washington (AFP) –


New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees was set for surgery on his throwing hand Wednesday, coach Sean Payton said, while delaying announcement of his NFL replacement until game-time on Sunday.

An initial recovery time for Brees indicated it would be six to eight weeks before the star passer returns, although that is expected to be adjusted once doctors examine Brees after the operation.

For now, Payton says, the team will evaluate Brees each week to see when he might be able to return. The Saints fell to 1-1 with a 27-9 loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Sunday.

Brees, who injured his right thumb in the first quarter, would have been out for at least eight weeks had the Saints elected to place him on injured reserve.

Keeping him off the list allows for his return sooner.

Payton played coy when asked who will start Sunday at Seattle. That could force the Seahawks to prepare for two different sorts of Saints attacks.

Teddy Bridgewater, who replaced Brees against the Rams with limited advance work, struggled to move New Orleans. He will have more of a chance to prepare this week.

So will Taysom Hill, who plays as a runner, receiver, passer and returner for the Saints depending on where they need him most.

"We'll approach this game with two quarterbacks," Payton said.

Payton, known for his offensive schemes, could use either or both in a bid to throw off the Seahawks as he faces his first sustained stretch without Brees since first becoming Saints head coach in 2006, the year Brees arrived at the club.