Jameis Winston has not played yet this preseason after suffering a right foot sprain in training camp, but the quarterback said the injury is "getting better every day," and he was able to fully participate in practice this week for the first time this preseason.
Winston told reporters that he's been able to incorporate more movement into his plays in this week's practices, and he even risked a slide at the end of a play on Wednesday, something that he acknowledged might have made his teammates nervous, but is part of the necessary steps to see if he's ready to play.
"I gotta be able to do that. So it was like, man, what better time to do it than now. I had to practice it," Winston said. "It felt good yesterday, like I could really run a little bit more, and move around a little bit more, because that's a part of my game, so I'm getting better every day."
The sprain was considered a minor injury and Winston said he expects to be ready for Week 1 no matter what, but he also explained that the Saints were limiting his reps mostly out of an abundance of caution, as they wouldn't want to cause additional problems because he was trying to play through the pain.
"It's not a major injury, it's just in terms of overcompensating because I've got the knee, and we don't want anything else to spring up just from me using one side more," Winston said.
The 28-year-old tore his ACL and suffered MCL damage in a Week 8 game versus the Buccaneers, ending a promising 2021 season and starting a long road to recovery for Winston. He was just getting back into practices when the foot issue came up, so taking it easy definitely seems like the right choice, especially since it's only preseason games that he's missing.
And the extra rest appears to have done its job, as Winston said Wednesday that he can trust his knee "wholeheartedly," and expressed his desire to take the field for the Saints' final preseason game this Friday versus the Chargers. While he's leaving it up to head coach Dennis Allen to make the final decision on whether he'll participate, Winston said being able to both get into real action and participate in bonding moments with his teammates is something he would like to achieve before the regular season begins.
"I would love to play," Winston said. "Just in terms of, if I can get out there where the bullets are really flying, get out there and compete with the guys. I love the pregame experience, just to get a chance to look in everybody's eyes, dap people up and really get that whole holistic team-bonding part in the beginning of the game. That's one of my favorite parts of football, just that pre-battle moment. So I would love to experience that before we kick things off."
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