With a stone-faced declaration of "I'm gonna play," New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees said the torn plantar fascia in his right foot will not keep him out of New Orleans' home finale Sunday against Jacksonville in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
"It's considered Grade 2," Brees said. "From what I've learned about the plantar fascia, it extends over a large portion of the foot – arch, heel and that kind of thing. I think there's varying degrees depending on where it is, how much it's torn. Talking to guys on the team who have (torn the plantar fascia) before, I think each one is different so you just kind of manage it as you can. Mine is on my heel.
"It has its challenges but we've come up with a good plan for this week, how to support it and how to try to make it as manageable as possible."
Brees, who injured his foot in the Saints' 35-27 loss to Detroit on Monday night, only has missed one game due to injury in his 10 seasons as a Saint. He sat out the third game this year with an injured right rotator cuff.
"I think it is day by day," Coach Sean Payton said. "There's no comparison to his shoulder (injury), but there is a similarity in that unknown as to how it feels. He's smart enough and will understand each day the progression he's making. I'm sure we'll go out there and see where it's at."
The Saints are operating with a short work week, due to the Monday night game followed by a Sunday game. So the workload would have been lighter than usual this week, anyway, Payton said. Brees' physical workload will be even more abbreviated as the attempt is made to see what he can and cannot do on the injured foot.
"I need to see what it feels like getting out there, just executing plays, coming out from under center and what I'm going to be asked to do," Brees said. "Just gauge where I'm at as I begin to move; I really haven't moved a whole lot these past few days, just trying to calm it down, get the orthotics and different things that you need to try to protect it and support it.
"Coming off the game it was very sore, much more so than in the game. But I think as the week goes on and I treat it and calm it down, and then find the ways to support – because I wasn't able to do that during the game, we just did a simple tape job just to kind of manage it, and then put my cleats back on and that kind of thing. There are much more comfortable shoes that I can wear, there are different things that I can do to make myself feel better and probably move a little bit better."
If Brees is unable to play, that duty likely will fall to No. 2 quarterback Matt Flynn. Rookie Garrett Grayson is the No. 3 quarterback.
"I think the key is, you're looking to play the player that gives you the best chance to win," Payton said. "That being said, both Matt and Garrett are familiar with what we're doing. I'm sure they'll prepare this week thoroughly, just like they have each week, in being ready to play or possibly go in to play if called upon."