Brees sidelined with hand injury; Bridgewater in

LOS ANGELES — Drew Brees has been sidelined by an injury for just the second time in his 14 years as the New Orleans Saints’ quarterback.

Brees was replaced by Teddy Bridgewater late in the first quarter after his right throwing hand hit Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s hand at the end of an incomplete pass. Brees had his right thumb and lower hand/wrist area taped up by a trainer on the bench. He has remained on the sideline in uniform, and he was officially announced as questionable to return with a hand injury.

Drew Brees injures his throwing hand as he is hit by Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams during the first quarter of their game on Sunday. Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Bridgewater finished the game for Brees, going 17 of 30 for 165 yards in a 27-9 loss to the Rams.

Brees, 40, has missed only one start due to injury since high school — when he missed a Week 3 game at the Carolina Panthers in 2015 with a shoulder injury. He also suffered a major shoulder injury in the final game of the 2005 season with the San Diego Chargers, but he returned in time for Week 1 with the Saints the following year.

Brees completed three of his first five passes before leaving the game Sunday. He threw an interception that was knocked out of tight end Jared Cook’s hands on the opening drive.

The Saints have one of the league’s best insurance policies in Bridgewater, who is the NFL’s highest-paid backup quarterback at $7.25 million this season. The Saints traded a third-round draft pick to acquire Bridgewater from the New York Jets following the 2018 preseason and re-signed him to a one-year deal in March.

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