Drew Brees says shoulder was affected by hit, but he'll be OK

NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees acknowledged that his shoulder was affected Sunday by a big hit he took early in the New Orleans Saints' 26-19 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he said he "absolutely" never considered leaving the game and isn't too concerned going forward.

The shoulder wasn't being iced or wrapped in the locker room after the game or during Brees' interview session.

"That's the season. Everybody's dealing with something. ... Just gotta get a little stronger, that's all," said Brees, who was hit repeatedly throughout Sunday's loss.

Brees said the shoulder was especially affected on a few deep throws that "didn't come out really well," including an underthrown interception early in the third quarter.

He rallied late, though, and threw his only TD pass in the fourth quarter before New Orleans' offense ran out of time and wasted too many opportunities.

Brees finished 24 of 38 for 255 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also fumbled twice when he was sacked in the first half (both recovered by the Saints).

Brees, 36, also revealed that he was also battling through a shoulder issue late last season. In the past, Brees acknowledged that he was dealing with an injury issue late in the year but never specified the ailment.