Drew Brees will have surgery to repair the thumb on his right passing hand Wednesday in Los Angeles with Dr. Steven Shin, he told ESPN's Ed Werder.
The New Orleans Saints quarterback said he won't know the timetable for his return until surgery is complete. He made the decision after visiting Shin in Los Angeles on Monday and Dr. Tom Hunt in Houston on Tuesday for a second opinion.
"I'm confident in the surgery that will take place and will dedicate myself to the rehab process to get back as quickly as I can," Brees told Werder in a text.
League sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Monday that surgery could sideline Brees for about six weeks. It's unclear if the Saints will consider placing Brees on injured reserve, which would require him to miss at least eight weeks.
The Saints remained on the West Coast after their 27-9 loss at the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. They will hold their first practice Wednesday at the University of Washington as they prepare to face the Seattle Seahawks in Week 3.
Coach Sean Payton declined to answer "hypothetical" questions on Monday, saying, "We'll have a plan either way." But when asked if the Saints have built a team that could withstand Brees' absence, Payton said, "Well, we're getting ready to find out.
"Hopefully the news is good and the length of time, if there is any, that he's out will be shorter than longer. But that's part of our sport," said Payton, who said this kind of adversity is "kind of the nature of our league sometimes."
The Saints will turn to veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is the highest-paid backup in the NFL with a deal worth $7.25 million plus incentives.
Bridgewater is 0-1 as a starter with the Saints after filling in when New Orleans rested some of its starters in Week 17 last season. But the former first-round draft pick went 11-5 and led the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs in 2015 before suffering a devastating knee injury the following summer.
Dual-threat quarterback Taysom Hill is another option for the Saints while Brees is sidelined.
The Saints also re-signed former Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett IV to their practice squad, per a source, as first reported by the NFL Network. Barrett spent time on the Saints' practice squad as a rookie last year and spent most of this offseason with them.
Brees left Sunday's game late in the first quarter after his right throwing hand appeared to hit Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald's hand at the end of an incomplete pass.
Brees, 40, has missed only one game due to injury in his 19-year NFL career: a 2015 loss to the Carolina Panthers. He also suffered a major shoulder injury in his final game with the San Diego Chargers in 2005, but he returned in time for his Week 1 start with the Saints the next season.
"It's very difficult not to be playing," Brees said. "I'm not used to that. I don't want to get used to that."
Brees' absence will end his streak of starting at least 15 games in 15 straight seasons -- the second-longest streak of its kind behind only Brett Favre's, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
With Brees likely to miss multiple games, the Saints are now 25-1 to win the Super Bowl at Caesars Sportsbook. Prior to Sunday's game, New Orleans had 8-1 odds at Caesars.