Could Drew Brees Return vs. Chiefs? Saints Coach Gives a Definite Maybe

It's the most anticipated matchup of the week, but we're not sure yet if Drew Brees will play when the New Orleans Saints host the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Brees has been on injured reserve since Nov. 20, when scans revealed he had 11 broken ribs and one punctured lung. That was almost a month ago, and Brees is getting close to a return. What will it take for him to play against the Chiefs?

"It’s pretty simple," Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters Thursday. "It’s just functionality, strength, throwing without soreness. I mean there’s a process, and last week with the trainers he had one throwing day, then yesterday the same way. So it’s really (whether Brees is) asymptomatic, feeling good, strong, and like he can function and be an asset and play well.”

Payton added the Saints aren't waiting on any sort of official medical clearance on Brees.

"No. I think everyone’s monitoring, paying attention to it all," Payton said. "We’ll just see how this week goes."

The Saints are 10-3 and lead the NFC South by two games. The Chiefs are 12-1. Taysom Hill will start at quarterback for New Orleans if Brees can't play.

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Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,