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METAIRIE, La. — Although Drew Brees downplayed the significance of his shoulder injury Wednesday, he remained limited in Thursday’s practice.

The New Orleans Saints quarterback was working off to the side with no pads during the early portion of practice that was open to the media and was officially listed as a limited participant. It is rare for Brees to be limited in practice this late in the week and unclear if that will affect his status for Sunday night’s critical NFC South showdown at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

It is also unclear who would replace Brees in the starting lineup if necessary, with former Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill both potential candidates. Friday’s practice should shed more light on Brees’ status.

Brees appeared on the Saints’ injury report as limited in Wednesday’s practice, but he downplayed that by pointing out that he is always limited on Wednesdays. Brees, 41, hasn’t thrown during Wednesday practices for the past several years to give him more rest and recovery after games.

However, the shoulder injury appears to be a new ailment since Brees was spotted wearing Kinesio tape on his right throwing shoulder during New Orleans’ 26-23 overtime victory at Chicago in Week 8.

Asked about the tape Wednesday, Brees laughed and said, “I’m 41 years old. I’ve got a lot of stuff going on. But I just keep ticking.”

Brees leads the NFL with a completion percentage of 73.1%. Since Week 3, he has the third-highest passer rating (111.2), behind only Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson.

On the plus side for New Orleans, running back Alvin Kamara returned to practice Thursday after being limited by a foot injury that he described as minor on Wednesday. Wide receiver Michael Thomas (ankle/hamstring) continued to practice Thursday as he appears close to returning to the lineup for the first time since Week 1. And wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders said he is definitely playing after being activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list this week.

Kamara was listed as a full participant in practice, while Thomas was a limited participant.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/30263418/new-orleans-saints-qb-drew-brees-held-back-practice-second-straight-day

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