Jenkins back on the field after preseason injury - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Jenkins back on the field after preseason injury

John Jenkins (Source: New Orleans Saints) John Jenkins (Source: New Orleans Saints)
White Sulphur Springs, WV - Defensive tackle John Jenkins is back on the field after suffering an injury that kept the rising star on the sidelines. Jenkins met with the media Tuesday and discussed his injury, weight, role, expectations and the team's return to New Orleans.

Can you discuss your return to practice?
“I’m easing my way back in and trying to make things happen.”
Was the timing of your injury frustrating because this was a big year for you to follow up on last season?
“Going through this process was a big eye opener for me and let me know my responsibility to get back here.”

You have been working on the side for a while. Was it frustrating?
“Yes. The NFL is different from college. The NFL is a longer season than the college season. They don’t want to push things and for me to get hurt again down the road.”

How anxious were you to get back?
“I’m anxious. This is what I do for a living. I’m excited.”

How do you feel about the weight you are playing at?
“I feel good. Do I look good out there? You are watching.”

Is it a comfortable weight that you want to be at right now?
“I’m comfortable with it. Going down doesn’t hurt. Me being a big guy and losing more weight doesn’t hurt.”

What are you at?

What’s the most you have played at before?
“About 367 at Georgia."

What’s the team’s target weight for you?
“In the ‘40’s, I’m good.”

How hard is it to keep your weight down in an environment like this where it isn’t as hot and humid and you are limited in what you can do because you are rehabbing as opposed to competing on the field in practice until this week?
“It’s not hard. You just need to be disciplined. If you are able to move around, it’s not a problem. It all depends on if you are stationary. If you’re hurt and can’t do anything that’s the hard part, because your cardiovascular (system) is not moving (as much). Once you are able to move around and watch what you eat, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

In this system, you play in a system where stats can be misleading. You did not have a sack until the postseason. Everybody thought you had a strong rookie season. Can you talk about your role in this defense and what for you means you’ve played really well?
“My role in this defense is to free the linebackers up, take on as many blockers as I can (and) crush the pocket. You’re right. A lot of the things I do are taken for granted. People don’t understand the job I have to do. But at the end of the day as long as I’m doing the job I’m supposed to do and the stats as far as rushing yards and pressures against the quarterback show up, I’m happy.”

Are you ready to get back to New Orleans and be in front of the hometown fans?
“Yes, there’s no greater feeling than when we are leaving the hotel on gameday and seeing everybody on the side of the road screaming Who Dat. Going through that is an amazing feeling and I can’t wait to get back personally.”

Do you draw some strength from being back in the heat down there at practice?
“Yes, put it this way, nobody practices in that humidity and heat like we do, so we take pride in that humidity and heat and we are able to conquer it.”

What did you learn here from your rookie season?
“Nothing lasts forever. That’s what I’ve learned. I’ve seen things happen, I’ve seen people come and go. I’ve seen situations become big and I’ve seen situations become small. So, I have taken that nothing lasts forever.”

Did your injury occur after the season was over?

In the weight room?
“Yes, working out.”

Is it fair to say chest area?
“Yes, pec.”

Who was the toughest guy you went against in your rookie year?
“It’s tough because my position, I’m usually not going up against just one person. I’m going up against two, maybe three if I get a good push. I would say as a whole, San Fran had a good line as far as power rushing. I’m going to say San Francisco.”

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