In what was ultimately the final season of his long NFL career, now-retired quarterback Drew Brees battled through some pretty serious injury woes this past year.
The most notable of his struggles began in a Week 10 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers when the New Orleans Saints veteran suffered multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung on the right ride. As a result of this brutal injury, he was forced to sit out for the Saints' next four contests.
While this was certainly the most newsworthy setback the QB faced during his final season, Brees said it wasn't the only injury struggle he faced in 2020.
Speaking to reporters at a charity golf tournament on Wednesday, the 13-time Pro Bowler revealed he only felt at peak performance for one game last season: the Saints' 35-29 Week 4 win over the Detroit Lions.
“I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I only felt really good in one game [Week 4 at Detroit], from the perspective I had all the tools in my toolbox,” Brees said, via
(A thread) Drew Brees on his injury-riddled 2020 season: "I’ll be perfectly honest with you. I only felt really good in one game (W4, at Detroit), from the perspective I had all the tools in my toolbox. I had a lot of limitations throughout the season ... (contd.)" pic.twitter.com/iMmA1hQWxc
— Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) April 21, 2021
">Jeff Duncan of The Athletic. “I had a lot of limitations throughout the season as to what I could and couldn’t do. And I recognized that. And that’s really hard for a competitor. It’s really hard to know what you should be able to do, and yet you can’t, because of various injuries or things that are taking place with your body. Some of those things are just kind of freak things. You tear a plantar fascia. You get damage in your shoulder. You get broken ribs, right? A punctured lung. I had this abdominal thing that I was dealing with (for) pretty much most of the season.
"As a QB everything you do is rotation. And when you can’t rotate the way that you want, you all of a sudden begin to accommodate. Everything for you kind of narrows. I cant make that throw. I cant make that throw. I can’t make that throw. So what’s now in my toolbox? It's harder to play the game that way. It is. And yet you’ve got to find a way to still get it done. And I felt like we did that. But it was difficult."
Despite his laundry list of injury issues, Brees put together some solid numbers for his final NFL season. Through 12 games, the future Hall of Famer threw 2,942 yards, 24 touchdowns and six interceptions on an efficient 70.5 completion percentage.
Entering his retirement after 20 years in the league, Brees holds the all-time NFL record for career passing yards (80,358).