The ball used by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for the touchdown pass that broke a 52-year-old NFL record in Sunday’s game with the San Diego Chargers has made its way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Hall announced Tuesday that the ball, which wide receiver Devery Henderson caught in stride for a 40-yard touchdown to give Brees a scoring pass in 48 consecutive games, has been placed in the Hall of Fame’s Pro Football Today Gallery in Canton, Ohio.
Accompanying the football was a copy of the play sheet signed by offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr., who called the historic play, and interim coach Aaron Kromer. Brees autographed the ball and added “48” to his signature.
The scoring pass to Henderson broke a tie with Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, whose record of 47 consecutive games with a touchdown was unmatched from 1960 until Brees tied it on Sept. 30 at Green Bay.
The Hall of Fame noted Unitas’ streak had often been referred to as the NFL’s “unbreakable record.”
“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is pleased to be able to add this milestone football to our collection of priceless artifacts,” HOF president/executive director Steve Perry said in a news release. “This is certainly one of the game’s most significant records and one that for more than 50 years seemed to be simply out of reach.
“We sincerely appreciate Drew’s willingness to allow the Pro Football Hall of Fame to preserve and share his remarkable accomplishment with football fans now and for generations to come.”
Brees will also send the ball that is used for the final touchdown of the streak, whenever that happens, to the Hall of Fame.
Considering the record and the fact that he threw for 370 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-24 win over the Chargers, Brees has been nominated for two of the weekly NFL awards that are determined by fans in online voting.
Brees is one of three nominees for the FedEx Air Player of the Week, and is also up for the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week award.
Fans can vote until 2 p.m. Friday at www.NFL.com/FedEx and www.NFL.com/gmc.
Ridley, Randle named
New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley and New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle, a pair of former LSU players, are also nominees for NFL awards.
Ridley is up for the FedEx NFL Ground Player of the Week award after rushing for 151 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries in a win over Denver, while Randle, who had six catches for 82 yards in a victory over Cleveland, is a candidate for the Pepsi Max NFL Rookie of the Week award.
Fans can vote until 2 p.m. Friday at www.NFL.com/FedEx and www.NFL.com/rookies.
Brees will be featured in a segment on the NBC Sports Network’s weekly show NFL Turning Point, which airs at 9 p.m. Wednesday on Cox Cable Channel 105.
Brees’ segment will include a look at the Saints-Chargers game in which he was wired for sound for his second game against his old team and his attempt to make NFL history again.
The show will examine Unitas’ record and the touchdown pass to Henderson that put Brees at the top of the list.
While their teammates enjoy their bye week and a six-day break from practice and meetings, injured players will report to the Saints training facility daily for treatment.
The Saints came out of Sunday’s game with two new injuries as cornerback Jabari Greer has a groin problem and tight end Jimmy Graham sprained his ankle.
Wide receiver Lance Moore (hamstring), linebacker David Hawthorne (hamstring), linebacker Jonathan Casillas (neck), running back Travaris Cadet (shoulder) and defensive end Turk McBride (ankle) all missed Sunday’s game.
The Saints on Monday terminated the contract of linebacker Barrett Ruud, who was acquired in a trade with the Seattle Seahawks on Aug. 20, and re-signed cornerback Elbert Mack.
Ruud played in three games, but did not record a tackle.