Drew Brees revealed this week that a past shoulder injury has changed his body forever.
The former New Orleans Saints quarterback said he would still be playing football if it weren’t for the major shoulder injury he suffered in 2005.
The 44-year-old, who retired from the NFL in 2021, said on ESPN Radio on Tuesday that “there might have been a feeler or two” from teams trying to call him out of retirement but that a return to the game was not possible.
“Look … I’ll let you in on a little fact,” Brees explained on “Greeny.” “I don’t throw with my right arm anymore.”
“My right arm does not work,” he said. “So, when I throw in the backyard right now, I throw left-handed.”
Brees said he is able to enjoy the fast-growing sport of pickleball, having recently played in an event with tennis champion John McEnroe.
“I can play pickleball just because it’s below the waist, you know, but anything above my shoulders I’ve got a hard time with,” he said.
Hold up…Drew Brees is a lefty now? (No, not clickbait)
— ESPN Radio (@ESPNRadio) November 21, 2023
The 13-time Pro Bowler added that he would still love to be playing the game were it not for his injury.
“If I could, I would absolutely still be playing,” Brees said.
Never forget when Drew Brees threw 4 TDs to only UDFAs on Thanksgiving a couple years ago pic.twitter.com/umlIqpkJvh
— Paul🅿️🦃 (@blakebooming) November 22, 2023
He suffered a torn labrum in 2005 while playing for the San Diego Chargers that he said put him “on the fast track to a degenerative shoulder and all kind of arthritic changes.”
His operation was conducted by the celebrated orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews, to whom Brees credits with prolonging his career.
“I owe Dr. Andrews a lot,” he said.
When Brees became a free agent, the Miami Dolphins ultimately decided not to sign Brees amid concerns about his injury.
He ended up signing for the New Orleans Saints, where he played for the remainder of his career.
Brees led the team to a Super Bowl title in 2010 and is second in NFL history in passing touchdowns and yards.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.