NEW ORLEANS (AP) Drew Brees set an NFL record Sunday night with touchdown passes in 48 straight games, breaking a mark set by Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas a half-century ago.
The record-setting scoring strike was a 40-yard pass to Devery Henderson against the San Diego Chargers. After the completion, Brees raced to the end zone to greet Henderson, who incidentally wears the same No. 19 that Unitas wore for the Baltimore Colts.
The rest of New Orleans' offense pursued and swarmed around Brees in celebration. Brees then took the game ball to the sideline where he continued to accept congratulations.
Unitas set the record between 1956 and 1960 and no one had come within 10 games until Brees began to close in late last season. Tom Brady has the third-longest streak, extending his to 37 games Sunday in a victory over Denver.
Coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt and general manager Mickey Loomis - all three suspended in the NFL's bounty investigation - were permitted by the NFL at Brees' request to attend the game.
Unitas' son, Joe, also was present.
Brees, meanwhile, continued to play at the prolific pace that had put him in position to break Unitas' record in the first place. His pinpoint pass to the back of the end zone in the second quarter helped Marques Colston snag his 50th touchdown catch, tying the franchise record set by Joe Horn in 2006.
Jordan Reed took a major blow to the head in the Redskins third preseason game in Atlanta, and the blow eventually landed Washington's stud tight end in the NFL's concussion protocol.
Falcons safety Keanu Neal delivered the hit, and while it was clearly illegal and resulted in a penalty on the field, he took to Twitter to defend his play.
It's hard to judge intent under the incredible speed that plays happen during pro football. When a player goes in for a tackle, ball carriers can also move, and plays that look dirty in slow motion can look reasonable in full speed. Still, it's undeniable that Reed took a major shot in the helmet from Neal, and it definitely seemed unnecessary. And it's not a secret that Reed has dealt with serious head injuries throughout his NFL career.
There has been no update on Reed's condition beyond that he's in the NFL concussion protocol. Reed also stayed in the game after the big hit from Neal before his concussion symptoms showed up at halftime.
Neal is a fifth-year safety out of the University of Florida. He missed most of the 2018 season with an ACL injury. Reed also attended the University of Florida.
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