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AP: Brees suffers torn labrum, faces four-month rehab

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by ChargerRay, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. ChargerRay

    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2278077

    SAN DIEGO — The Chargers’ decision on Drew Brees’ future became much cloudier Monday when the quarterback said he needs surgery for a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder.

    Brees dislocated his right shoulder in a home loss to the Denver Broncos on Saturday, and an MRI on Sunday revealed the torn cartilage.

    The fifth-year pro plans to travel Tuesday to Birmingham, Ala., to get a second opinion from orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, and would like to have surgery this week.

    “Obviously I’d like to get this thing operated on as soon as possible,” Brees said. “We’re all very optimistic. The doctors are very optimistic, saying that this is something that they’ve seen before, done before. It shouldn’t be a big deal.”

    Brees anticipates a four-month rehab, which means he should be ready for minicamp.

    The Chargers (9-7) missed the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons.

    Before Brees throws another pass, though, the Chargers must decide whether to give him a long-term deal or once again slap him with the “franchise” tag, which would keep him around for one more year at close to $10 million. The deadline for designating franchise players is Feb. 23.

    General manager A.J. Smith didn’t return calls for the second straight day, and the Chargers didn’t make anyone from the front office available to comment about Brees. Trainer James Collins also was off-limits.

    “I’m not allowed to talk to the media about any injuries,” Collins said.

    Asked if it’s more or less likely that the Chargers will give him the long-term deal he wants, Brees said: “I think it’s the same situation. In my mind, I feel like I’m going to come back better than ever after this deal. I wouldn’t even call it a setback. It’s an opportunity for me to just get going a little bit earlier than expected, rehabbing and working out, and making sure when I come back I’m better than I was when I went in.”

    After Brees led them to a 12-4 record and the AFC West title in 2004, the Chargers made him their “franchise” player, keeping him around for one year at $8 million.

    Backup quarterback Philip Rivers, who’s played sparingly in two seasons, has four years remaining on his contract. The Chargers say they have the room under the salary cap to keep Brees and Rivers again next year.

    Rivers looked rusty when he replaced Brees on Saturday, although he did lead the Chargers on their only scoring drive of the game.

    “I think with this shoulder or not, I think you all will be asking the same questions,” Brees told reporters. “Who knows what’s going to happen? And I don’t. I just worry about the things I can control, and right now it’s taking care of this thing. But I truly believe I’m going to get better and better every year.”

    Actually, Brees regressed from his Pro Bowl year of 2004, when he threw for 3,159 yards and 27 touchdowns, with only seven interceptions, for a team-record passer rating of 104.8, which was third-best in the NFL.

    He threw for 3,576 yards this year, but had fewer touchdowns, 24, and more than twice as many interceptions, 15. His rating dropped to 89.2, 10th in the league.

    Brees was hurt late in the second quarter Saturday. He dropped back to pass in his end zone and was blindsided by safety John Lynch, who knocked the ball loose. Brees dived for the ball and defensive tackle Gerard Warren landed on him.

    “In order for it to be dislocated, some other things are going to have to give way. The labrum was the thing that kind of gave way,” Brees said.

    Brees said he probably shouldn’t have dived for the ball, “just because you know guys are going to take shots at you. But being in the situation in the game, the last thing I wanted them to do was recover that fumble, especially recover it in the end zone. When you’re in the heat of the battle you don’t have time to think about it.”

    Although the Chargers had been eliminated from the playoff picture a week earlier, they played their starters in an attempt to get their 10th victory.

    “I absolutely should have been in the game because we were trying to win that football game,” Brees said. “I’m the starting quarterback and I need to be in there to help us win. No doubt in my mind.”
     

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