Retired QB Drew Brees says he can only throw left-handed now

Retired QB Drew Brees says he can only throw left-handed now

Retired quarterback Drew Brees says that he’d still be playing if he could throw a football with his right arm but that that’s no longer possible because of the major shoulder injury he suffered in 2005.

Brees, 44, made the revelation Tuesday when asked on ESPN Radio’s “Greeny” show whether he has gotten any calls from teams trying to lure him out of retirement. He retired from the NFL in 2021 and said Tuesday “there might have been a feeler or two” a year or two after his retirement.

He then added: “Look, I’ll let you in on a little fact. I don’t throw with my right arm anymore. My right arm does not work. So, when I throw in the backyard right now, I throw left-handed.”

Brees was making an appearance to promote a pickleball event he played in with John McEnroe and said, “I can play pickleball because it’s below the waist, but anything above my shoulder I have a hard time with.”

Drew Brees played 15 seasons for the Saints after dislocating his shoulder in 2005, but he says the injury “put me on the fast track to a degenerative shoulder and all kind of arthritic changes,” making him unable to throw with his right arm. Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

He said the dislocated shoulder he suffered in 2005 with the San Diego Chargers that almost ended his career “put me on the fast track to a degenerative shoulder and all kind of arthritic changes.”

He added again that he doesn’t throw with his right arm anymore, but “If I could, I would absolutely still be playing.”

Dr. James Andrews performed Brees’ shoulder repair in 2006 and reportedly used 12 anchors, which was the most he had ever used at the time, to repair a complete 360-degree tear of Brees’ labrum. In addition, Andrews reportedly repaired at least a partial tear in the rotator cuff.

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Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints in 2006 after the Miami Dolphins dropped out of the bidding over concerns about his shoulder.

Brees said that the Dolphins’ medicals were right according to the “long-term prognosis” for his shoulder but that, with Andrews’ guidance, he was able to do things in the short term to prolong his career.

“I owe Dr. Andrews a lot,” he said.

With the Saints, he went on to throw for 68,010 yards and 491 touchdowns in 15 seasons, leading the franchise to a Super Bowl championship in the 2009 season. His 80,358 passing yards and 571 passing touchdowns in his career are second only to Tom Brady. Brees also is second to Brady in completions (7,142), the only two to reach 7,000.