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Drew Brees’ Injury Leaves The NFC South Wide Open For The Taking

Can the Bucs take advantage?

New Orleans Saints v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brees is going to miss significant time this year.
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The Bucs and the rest of the NFC South received some major news Monday morning concering Drew Brees’ injured hand. Sometimes, you can win without even playing a game, and it looks like the Bucs were handed another victory on Sunday.

Brees injured the hand early in the matchup with the Rams after his hand hit Aaron Donald’s hand on the back end of a throw. He was forced to miss the remainder of the game and was seen on the sidelines with a bandage around his thumb.

The news broke Monday morning: Brees tore a ligament in his thumb and it will require surgery, forcing the quarterback to “likely miss six weeks”.

And there’s also a chance that he could be placed on IR-Designated for Return list, which would mean he would miss eight games.

Regardless of the timeline, this bodes well for the Bucs. It’s pretty much a given that Brees will miss the first matchup between the Saints and Bucs on October 6, but if he is placed on the IR-Designated for Return list, he will miss both contests.

The Bucs already have a division win over the Panthers, who are currently 0-2. The Falcons (1-1) are inconsistent at best. The Saints (1-1) don’t have their future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Assuming the worst-case scenario of an eight-game absence, this represents a prime opportunity for Bruce Arians and his team. The Bucs will play three division games over the next eight weeks, including the aforementioned two against the Saints. If the Bucs can take care of business in those three games and against teams such as the Giants, Cardinals, and Titans, then we could be talking about a 7-3 record with a 4-0 division record as they head into the final six weeks of the season.

Of course, you know what they say about wishing in one hand and performing a certain act in the other, but as of now, the NFC South appears to be wide open, and the Bucs may just be in the best spot out of all four teams in the division.