New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said all the right things at his news conference Wednesday.

But even behind the scenes, the ironman QB still isn't certain he'll play vs. the Carolina Panthers, according to an ESPN report.

Brees was once again limited during Thursday’s practice.

It is not known if Brees, who is dealing with a bruised rotator cuff, threw any passes during the session. He did not attempt a pass on Wednesday.

Before Thursday’s practice, Saints coach Sean Payton said he would not let Brees go until Sunday without attempting a pass.

“He wouldn’t go all the way to Sunday and then pregame is his first throws,” Payton said. “It’s a process that really starts with warming up and testing out how it feels, so we’ll see where it’s at.”

If Brees is unable to play, Luke McCown would likely start in his place.

Even though he claims it will be, the decision to play isn’t entirely up to Brees. It will be determined by how well his shoulder responds throughout the week.

He’s already checked with Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery on Brees’ shoulder in 2006 and evaluated his current injury earlier this week, and with throwing coach Tom House about his mechanics. Together they’ve pieced together a best course of action.

If there’s any possibility of playing this week, he says he’ll be on the field. At the same time, Brees said he will also be cautious about doing anything that could turn his bruised rotator cuff into a more serious diagnosis or lingering issue.

“Each day you wake up and see how you feel,” Brees said. “See what you can do more compared to the day before. Obviously, you have to be smart because you don’t want to aggravate it or re-injure it more. There is a balance to what we’re doing here, in regards to rehabbing, recovery and rest versus trying to get back.”