Saints QB Brees leaves with thumb injury

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees left Sunday's loss at the Los Angeles Rams in the first quarter with a right thumb injury and did not return.

Brees hit his right hand on Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald's right hand while following through on an incomplete pass to Jared Cook on third-and-8 midway through the quarter. He was seen struggling to pick up a ball, and then had the thumb taped.

"Right away, when he attempted to throw, he was having pain with it. It wasn't anything elaborate," coach Sean Payton said in his postgame press conference. "We'll give you an update when the time comes right."

Payton said Brees did not have X-rays at halftime but suggested it might take a couple of days of testing before the team has an update.

Teddy Bridgewater entered with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter. He went 17 of 30 for 165 yards as the Saints fell 27-9.

Brees opened the game 3 of 5 for 38 yards and an interception before leaving. He came out of the locker room after halftime with the tape off of his hand and with a helmet on, but did not enter and then was retaped.

The 40-year-old has missed just one game due to injury since joining the Saints in 2006, which came in 2015 due to a shoulder issue. He has missed just two other contests of a possible 210 with the Saints, both while resting in Week 17 with the team's playoff position secure.

Meanwhile, Donald left with his own injury later in the first half but returned before the break.

Donald pulled up and grabbed at his back in the final minute of the first quarter while pursuing wide receiver Deonte Harris in the backfield. Early in the second quarter, he remained on the ground after getting a quarterback hit. He went back to the locker room, and the team announced he was questionable to return, before he came back late in the second quarter.

The two-time reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Donald had one tackle for loss and the quarterback hit before leaving, and finished with the same numbers. He is still looking for his first sack of the season.

Donald, 28, had 20.5 sacks, 41 QB hits and 25 tackles for loss last season.

--Field Level Media