New Orleans Saints star quarterback Drew Brees left the Week 10 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter, with backup passer Jameis Winston entering the ballgame under center.

The Saints are coming off a monster Sunday Night Football victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last week where they really flexed their muscles to maintain dominance and respect in the NFC South. One week later, though, a QB switch in the second half down a touchdown has thrown the state of the team in jeopardy against the banged-up 49ers.

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Brees is questionable to return with a rib injury.

Sean Payton's decision to bench Brees may not be purely based on performance, however, as Brees was hit hard a few times in the first half, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Although the reason is unknown, when your starting quarterback can only muster up 76 passing yards in the first half, replacing him with a strong backup is always a rational option.

Winston enters the game for the second straight week for New Orleans (last week it was due to the blowout score). The Saints hope that he can provide a spark with some of his deep-ball throwing ability.

Michael Thomas, troubled with injuries a one-game team-mandated suspension this season, has been a virtual non-factor with Brees thus far, and this quarterback change could be exactly what the former Offensive Player of the Year needs to get his season going in the right direction.

Last week after the Bucs win, Winston drew laughs for his post-game victory celebration. Now he's under center at a critical moment to give New Orleans a win.