(Reuters) - Drew Brees' remarkable run of health is over as the New Orleans Saints quarterback, who has never missed a game in his 15-year NFL career due to injury, will sit out Sunday's clash because of a bruised throwing shoulder.
Brees suffered a bruised rotator cuff in last week's loss to Tampa Bay and was ruled out of Sunday's game at Carolina after Friday's practice.
"He'll be out for this game," said Saints head coach Sean Payton "He'll travel. I think just where he's at in the rehab and the strength, I think he felt -- I think we all felt -- like it would be too early him playing this weekend."
At one point during the Week Two loss to Tampa Bay, the 36-year-old quarterback could be seen wincing as he tried to loosen his shoulder following a first-half hit.
Brees, who had major surgery on his throwing shoulder in 2006, never considered leaving the game and completed 24 of 38 passes for 255 yards and one touchdown.
The last time Brees did not start for the Saints was in the final game of the 2009 regular season when the team, with the NFC's top seed secured, opted to play it safe and rest their quarterback.
Payton would not say whether Brees would be ready to return for the Saints' Oct. 4 home game versus the Dallas Cowboys.
"He felt like he made progress throughout the week, and yet it's still not where it needs to be or where we would feel comfortable with the strength that he needs," said Payton.
"But he did get better each day, and we'll just see where it's at next week."
Luke McCown will start in place of Brees.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue)