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Drew Brees surgery included option he thinks will let him beat 6-8 week rehab timeline

Saints quarterback Drew Brees had successful surgery and now is beginning the rehab process. He explained his timeline, and we break down the fantasy football implications.

Quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints warms up ahead of the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on September 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees had thumb surgery on Wednesday, September 18th, and the rehab process is officially underway. Post-injury reports indicated a six-to-eight week timeline for his return, and the Saints quarterback is pushing for an even earlier return.

Brees told ESPN’s Mike Triplett that he thinks he can beat the timeline thanks to the specifics of his procedure. He tore the ulnar collateral ligament on his throwing thumb, and in getting it repaired, the surgeon added an internal braces that Brees described to Triplett as, “just a little piece of tape that they put on top of the ligament repair.” Brees said it would give him immediate strength and stability to start rehabbing immediately and avoid a cast or other immobilization.

The Saints elected to not place Brees on injured reserve, which would have required a minimum eight week absence before he could return. For the time being, he will simply remain a weekly inactive.

Fantasy impact: A six week absence would likely mean we would see Brees back in game action in Week 10 vs. the Atlanta Falcons. The Saints face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 8, but then have a bye in Week 9. If Brees is making progress, it makes sense to give him through the bye and then get him back in action.

If you have Brees on your roster, there’s no need to trade him or release him. Most fantasy playoffs get going Week 14, so getting him back by Week 10 should be enough time to get him in shape to both help you clinch that playoff spot, and then have him available for your playoffs.

In the meantime, Teddy Bridgewater remains the starter with a mix of quality and difficult matchups. The Saints host the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, then travel to face the Jacksonville Jaguars and Chicago Bears, and then host the Cardinals. In his start last week against the Seahawks, Bridgewater threw for 177 yards and two touchdowns and scrambled for 12 more yards. He’s not a starting option at this point, but if you find bye week difficulties when he faces the Bucs in Week 5 or the Cardinals in Week 8, he might be worth a start.