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Drew Brees: The plan is to play in Week 8

The Saints don’t really have a quarterback controversy, but more just a question of timing. Drew Brees will start over Teddy Bridgewater when he’s ready, and that may be sooner than later.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees looks at a tablet on the bench in the second half during their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

“Well, that’s the plan.”

Prior to Sunday’s game, FOX announcer Troy Aikman asked New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees if the plan was for him to return to the starting quarterback role in Week 8. That quotation was what Brees had to say. Brees also told ESPN’s Mike Triplett that he plans on practicing this week and hopes to play on Sunday.

Aikman discussed his discussion with Brees during Teddy Bridgewater’s fifth straight win as the Saints starting quarterback. He emphasized that he was not quite sure Brees would actually be ready to start next week.

On the other hand, Aikman acknowledged that when Brees tells the Saints staff that he is ready to get back out there, you don’t wait another week. The Saints have a bye following Week 8, but it’s Aikman’s belief that if Bridgewater is ready for Week 8, you don’t wait until Week 10 to get him back in the lineup.

The Saints are rolling without Brees, improving to 6-1 and holding a game and a half lead over the idle Carolina Panthers. Bridgewater had some hiccups early on, but he has rounded into form. Coupled with a stout defense, the Saints are a half game back of the 49ers for the best record in the NFC.

It’s obvious that Brees gets his starting job back, but you have to wonder what happens if the Saints struggle at all early in Brees’ return. They host Arizona in Week 8 and Atlanta in Week 10. The Cardinals are rolling, but are clearly inferior to the Saints. The Falcons defense is a disaster, but that Falcons-saints rivalry can lead to some craziness. But otherwise, with those two games and a road game in Tampa Bay in the next four weeks, Brees could be set up for success in his return.

Betting implications

The Saints have opened as an 8.5-point favorite over the Cardinals at DraftKings Sportsbook, but it will be fascinating to see what happens if word gets out that Brees will play. They’ll remain heavy favorites regardless of the quarterback, but it will be something to see how the line moves in the coming days.

Fantasy implications

The Saints offense has been a bit inconsistent at times, but Michael Thomas is one guy who has dominated regardless. Alvin Kamara is dealing with a high ankle sprain, so it’s not something we can blame on Bridgewater or suggest will automatically improve with Brees’ return. As the offense gets healthy, it should improve regardless. Brees is an upgrade for the entire passing game, and from a fantasy perspective, it potentially bumps the value of guys like Jared Cook and Ted Ginn more than anybody else.

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