Drew Brees went from almost not being allowed to play to breaking records

Despite an awful shoulder injury that almost ended his career, Drew Brees is one of the greatest Quarterbacks in NFL history.

On October 8th 2018, New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees was on fire against the Washington Redskins. Then, with a 62-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith in the second quarter, Drew Brees made history. He passed both Brett Favre and future NFL Hall of Famer Peyton Manning to break the record for all-time career passing yards.

But it wasn’t a smooth trip to the NFL history books for Brees. 

Drew Brees was born in Austin, Texas on January 15th, 1979 and his parents’ athletic history contributed to his success. His father played basketball for the Texas A&M Aggies men’s basketball team, and his mother was a former all-state in three sports in high school. Drew excelled in every sport he tried but particularly good at baseball, basketball and football.

 He had a successful college career at Purdue University with a lot of awards. He was drafted first in the second round to the San Diego Chargers in 2002, made the Pro Bowl in 2004, and then in the finale of the 2005 season against the Denver Broncos, he got his awful injury.

A Broncos player made Brees fumble the ball and he decided to jump in to recover it. Normally, quarterbacks aren’t supposed to do that. They are too valuable to risk injury, and that’s exactly what happened to Brees. A heavy Broncos player jumped on top of him and that caused a dislocated shoulder, a 360-degree tear of his labrum and a 50-percent tear of his rotator cuff.

When Brees went to the doctor, he was told that there was only a 1 in 500 chance that he would be able to play again. Shoulder injuries for a quarterback can end careers. But since the chargers hadn’t made the playoffs the offseason lasted from late December to early September, giving Brees more time to recover. There was still hope.

Brees went to rehab and did drills that helped his shoulder. Meanwhile, his contract was up. Many teams were hesitant to sign him because of his injury but the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins were very eager. He signed with the Saints when his playing future was still uncertain but Saints’ head coach Sean Payton was confident that Drew was ready to play. 

Fully recovered, on his debut with the Saints, Brees led them to a win against the Cleveland Browns. The Saints eventually finished the season 10-6.

After 4 seasons of being the starting quarterback for the Saints, he helped New Orleans win their first Super Bowl. Brees was on his way to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history. 

The New Orleans Saints have been solid for the last 12 years and Brees has been a huge factor of their overall success. He leads the offence, reads what the opposing side is trying to do on defence, and counters it, making his teammate’s jobs easier. Also, having been in the league since 2001, he has a lot of experience and is able to help the younger players by giving them guidance and support. He will hopefully continue to do this until he retires. New Orleans’ offence for the last two seasons have been very dominant: every position is good–especially Brees as the Quarterback, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram who are running backs and Michael Thomas who is a wide receiver. They have 6 wins and 1 loss this season.

 Throughout Brees’ career he has won many accolades. In addition to becoming the all time passing yard leader, he has been a Super Bowl champion, Super Bowl MVP,  career pass completions, career completion percentage, an 11-time Pro Bowler, 2-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year and more. He also threw his 500th touchdown pass on October 21st to Tight End Benjamin Watson against the Baltimore Ravens.

 At the age of 39 he is still putting up MVP numbers and helping a great Saints team as they aim to win their second Super Bowl in franchise history. Now, having cemented his place as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, he is sure to be a Hall Of Famer when he retires. Drew Brees has one of the most influential comeback stories in NFL history: he beat 500 to 1 odds and went on to break huge records, becoming an NFL Legend.

Image Credit: Kelly Bailey

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