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Drew Brees and Philip Rivers will forever be connected, thanks to their past with the Los Angeles Chargers. But heading into Week 16, they’re connected yet again, this time by the New Orleans Saints. Having found themselves in a quarterback crunch due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the organization that forced nine players onto the reserve/COVID-19 list — including Taysom Hill and Trevor Siemien, and with Jameis Winston on season-ending injured reserve — the plan is to now award rookie fourth-round pick Ian Book the opportunity to battle the red-hot Miami Dolphins. However, that apparently wasn’t their first thought.
The Saints, in their desperation, reportedly reached out to both Brees and Rivers to gauge their interest in potentially unretiring to suit up in New Orleans, per Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com. The attempts obviously didn’t bear any fruit, and it appears Brees is particularly uninterested in stepping down from his shiny new broadcasting gig in an attempt to extend his already Hall of Fame resume.
Brees reportedly replied to the Saints, albeit respectfully, by sending a picture of himself golfing — per Nick Underhill of WWLTV in New Orleans. In other words, the former face of the Saints is enjoying his retirement, and in a major way.
There presumably would’ve been a better chance at landing Rivers, considering he left the door wide open for a possible return to the NFL in 2021 after retiring following the 2020 season, when the Indianapolis Colts opted to move on from him and instead trade with the Philadelphia Eagles to reunite Carson Wentz with Frank Reich. It’s unclear if Rivers has changed his mind and closed the door entirely or if he simply isn’t interested in what the Saints might’ve offered but, either way, the result remains the same.
It’ll be Book getting his first NFL start on Sunday, with Blake Bortles signed to play back up, as the Saints (7-7) try to keep their razor-thin playoff hopes alive against a 7-7 Dolphins team that is trying to do the exact same.