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Saints QB Drew Brees insists he'll play with torn plantar fascia

METAIRIE, La. -- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who has a torn plantar fascia in his right foot, on Thursday insisted, "I'm gonna play" against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Brees did not practice Thursday and isn't sure he'll feel good enough to practice Friday, but he said he has "every intention of playing" Sunday against the Jaguars even if he does not practice all week.

Brees described the injury as a Grade 2 tear and said it is located in his heel -- which he said is different than issues that other players have dealt with in the past.

"It hurts to walk. It has its challenges. But we've come up with a good plan for this week, how to support it and how to make it as manageable as possible," said Brees, who said he is not concerned about the risk of further injury and does not expect to have surgery after the season.

He said it's more a matter of pain tolerance and making the foot as comfortable as possible through treatment and the proper shoes and padding. Brees laughed when asked if the Saints will have to throw out the read-option, but he insisted the team's plan will be "as extensive as it usually is."

"I need to see what it feels like getting out there, just executing plays," Brees said. "I'll just gauge where I'm at as I begin to move. I really haven't moved a whole lot. These past few days have just been, calm it down, and get the orthotics and different things that you need to protect it and support it."

Brees said it is not the type of injury that can be alleviated with a pain-relieving shot on game day.

Plantar fascia tears can vary in severity and in location. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been sidelined for more than a month with a partially torn plantar fascia. However, Manning's brother Eli didn't miss a game after he suffered a full tear of the plantar fascia in 2009. Typically, the pain becomes more manageable when the plantar fascia is fully torn.

Brees said he wasn't quite sure how to describe whether his injury was a full or partial tear.

"From everyone I've spoken to, mine seems to be a bit different than others that I've heard," Brees said. "This is all kind of a learning thing for me. I just know the way it feels right now and what I'm gonna have to do between now and game day to get myself ready to play."

Brees said he has experienced plantar fasciitis in the past but had no pre-existing issues before suffering the injury Monday night against the Detroit Lions.

Brees appeared to step awkwardly while escaping pressure from Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah. He returned to the game and actually played his best football after that -- throwing three touchdown passes in the second half -- though he was noticeably hobbled.

He said the pain increased considerably after the game. But this week he said he has the advantage of being able to take extra measures to provide comfort and support, as opposed to the "simple tape job" they did on the sideline Monday.

Brees, 36, went through a similar issue earlier this season when a bruised rotator cuff forced him to miss a game to injury for the first time in his 16-year career.

When asked why he would risk further injury with the Saints (5-9) out of playoff contention, Brees said, "One reason only: I want to play for my guys. Bottom line."

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