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ProFootballDoc: The Untold Drew Brees Shoulder Story

With the retirement of Drew Brees, this is the perfect time to finally tell the untold story of the most important shoulder injury that he ever overcame. No, it wasn’t the right shoulder dislocation that ended his career with the Chargers in 2005. It was an injury to his left shoulder in 2004, and without Brees’ toughness, we might never have seen the Hall of Fame career. Any public revelation of injury requires permission, and I am thankful that Brees texted me back this weekend and allowed me to tell this previously untold story. It is a fitting tribute to his career. I have recently tried to give a different and personal perspective about the real Philip Rivers upon his retirement and another side of Marty Ball with the recent passing of Coach Marty Schottenheimer. Now here is the story of how we almost never got to see Brees’ greatness. The Chargers held the first pick in the 2001 NFL draft, and we needed a quarterback as the aging (and ageless) Doug Flutie was the starter. The Falcons traded up to select Michael Vick. I was in the San Diego war room as we used Atlanta’s pick at No. 5 to draft […]

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Written by Pro Football Doc

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.