New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees says surgery on his thumb injury was a complete success and is expected to miss six weeks.

The Saints are beginning a stretch of games without quarterback Brees with the trip to Seattle on Sunday as the Seahawks look to continue their best start since their Super Bowl championship season.

Teddy Bridgewater is expected to start in place of Brees for New Orleans, but Saints coach Sean Payton has yet to officially name a starter.

Step 1 Complete…successful surgery. This is my attempt at giving everybody a 馃憤 https://t.co/GVlY1Jh7Wc

— Drew Brees (@drewbrees) September 18, 2019

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Brees’ injury – a damaged ligament in his throwing thumb, sustained in a 27-9 loss at the Los Angeles Rams last week – begs the obvious question of whether the Saints are built to withstand the absence of the NFL’s all-time leading passer.

“We’re getting ready to find out,” Saints boss Payton said when asked that question.

Bridgewater completed 17 of 30 passes for 165 yards after replacing Brees.

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The Saints hope he can recapture the form he had in Minnesota when he earned a Pro Bowl selection in 2015 before a severe knee injury the following preseason set him back.

“We have 53 people on our team. Drew is a huge part of that,” New Orleans defensive end Cameron Jordan said.

“You can’t replace Drew, but at the same time we don’t know exactly what Teddy brings to the table. It’s been [over] two years since he has really had a complete Pro Bowl season that he had over in Minnesota.

“At this point, I can’t tell you whether we can withstand without Drew.”

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Step 1 Complete…successful surgery. This is my attempt at giving everybody a 馃憤

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on Sep 18, 2019 at 4:23pm PDT

Payton would not confirm if Bridgewater would start, instead suggesting that Taysom Hill is also in the mix.

Hill plays a variety of positions on offense and special teams and has replaced Brees on occasion at quarterback, particularly when Payton goes with a run-pass option.

Brees’ absence was not the only problem the Saints had in Los Angeles in the rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game.

Their offensive line was beaten consistently and the team rushed for just 57 yards on 20 carries. New Orleans were penalised 11 times for 87 yards.

The Seahawks also want to cut down on their penalties. They have been penalised 18 times, including 10 for 93 against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.

If they continue to play close games, having beaten the Cincinnati Bengals by one point in the opener and prevailing by two at Pittsburgh, the rash of penalties could prove costly.

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“Our hands have got to get cleaner,” coach Pete Carroll said. “That’s just being sloppy with their hands, and we have to do better. We’re not there yet, we’re not on it yet.

“Our conscience isn’t right about it, and I hope this hit hard enough this week. I hope the lessons are strong enough that we can make an impression on our guys.

“We’ve got to get it done. We’re a good third-down team.

“Everything beyond that, we stink, and that’s going to continue to be difficult and those happen because of sacks or because of penalties and we’re getting third and fifteens and stuff. We have to clean that up.”

Meanwhile, the Seahawks do not have any quarterback concerns as Russell Wilson led them to their first 2-0 start since their championship season in 2013.

Wilson used his arm and his legs to key a 28-26 victory at Pittsburgh last Sunday, a week after Seattle opened at home with a one-point win against Cincinnati.