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Saints' Drew Brees to return vs. Kansas City Chiefs; Michael Thomas ruled out

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has missed the past four games because of broken ribs and a punctured lung. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has missed the past four games because of broken ribs and a punctured lung. File Photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is set to return for Sunday's marquee matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Saints head coach Sean Payton told reporters Friday that the plan is for Brees to suit up and start against the Chiefs on Sunday.

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"He's looked good. He feels good," Payton said. "We were encouraged at the start of the week. We wanted to see how it felt as he went through a full practice week, and he's done a good job."

The Saints believe Brees is fully healthy and doctors have cleared him to compete, according to ESPN. The 41-year-old quarterback returned to practice this week after missing the past four games due to 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung.

"We wouldn't be playing him if he wasn't healthy and able to function and feeling good and recovered," Payton said.

With Brees back in the lineup, veteran signal-caller Jameis Winston will serve as the Saints' No. 2 quarterback. Taysom Hill, who filled in for Brees and posted a 3-1 record as the team's starter, will play his jack-of-all-trades role, including some snaps at quarterback.

Meanwhile, the Saints ruled out Pro Bowl wide receiver Michael Thomas on Friday. The star wideout didn't practice all week because of a lingering ankle injury.

Thomas had played through the ailment since returning to the Saints' starting lineup in Week 9.

The Saints (10-3) will host the Chiefs (12-1) at 4:25 p.m. EST Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

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New Orleans Saints' Taysom Hill (C) is sacked by the Philadelphia Eagles' Javon Hargrave (R) at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sunday. The Eagles defeated the Saints 24-21. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

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