What is a Collapsed Lung and How Long Will Brees Be Out?
The reports of Drew Brees suffering multiple rib fractures on his right side during the win against the Tampa Bay Bucs two weeks ago coupled with the more recent collapsed lung injury and additional rib fractures to the left side is certainly not good news.
The Saints have had to deal with losing Drew Brees in the recent past as they were without him for five games in 2019 when Teddy Bridgewater stepped in and went 5-0. This time it'll have to be Jameis Winston who steps up and takes the role of starting quarterback.
However, my question is, what exactly is a collapsed lung, what causes it, and how long is the recovery time?
According to Healthline, "Pneumothorax occurs when air enters the space around your lungs (the pleural space). Air can find its way into the pleural space when there’s an open injury in your chest wall or a tear or rupture in your lung tissue, disrupting the pressure that keeps your lungs inflated."
Depending upon how serious the collapsed lung is along with the fractured rib it can take 6-8 weeks to recover from this sort of injury. With the rib fractures, I would expect the recovery time to be at least six weeks.
What causes a collapsed lung? There are many ways a collapsed lung can occur but in this case, it was due to the hit Brees took by Kentavius Street of the 49ers which fractured two of his ribs on the left side.
Here's a look at the hit from Bad Sports Refs on Twitter:
In addition, there were two hard hits Brees took against Tampa Bay that may or may not have led to his three broken ribs on the right rib cage via Jeff Nowak on Twitter:
One of the more recent examples of a quarterback in the NFL suffering a collapsed lung on the field, because Tyrod Taylor suffered one this year at the hands of Los Angeles Chargers team doctors, was Tony Romo in 2011.
Romo also suffered the injury playing against the SF 49ers when he took a big hit early in the game. He played through it before coming out in the 3rd quarter for a pain-killing injection, he returned in the fourth quarter and didn't miss a game that season.
Now, he only suffered one fractured rib to go along with the collapsed lung, the fact that Drew Brees has five fractured ribs makes me nervous about his prospects of playing any time soon. It will probably be difficult to move or even breathe let alone play in an NFL game where guys are trying to constantly take your head off.
Speaking of the fractured ribs, according to the University of Michigan medical team it usually takes about six weeks for fractured ribs to completely heal up. Now, that's for a normal person who just goes to regular rehab, Brees' job from here on out is to get healthy so we'll have his ribs constantly worked on so he can get back on the field as soon as possible.
As we saw with his fractured thumb last season he put everything he had into his rehab and this time around should be no different.