TE Evan Engram
October 9, 2018
Q: It is pretty encouraging that youíll be out there full speed today. What are your feelings and what are you thinking about Thursday?
A: Todayís just a big day for me practice wise. Just going to go out there and see how I feel going full speed and getting full speed reps. Been taking it day-by-day and itís a possibility, but weíll see going forward.
Q: Have you cut it loose yet on your own or running around?
A: Yeah, the training staff, weíve been kind of slowly, but surely working up. We started running and kind of introducing cutting and stuff, so today could start cutting a little bit last weekend, this past weekend so today will be a full test.
Q: This would be a short timeframe for what this injury length usually is. Is this rushing things or are you feel like Ė
A: No, itís just based off how I feel and definitely being smart with it and thatís a big component, but definitely just based off how I feel and today will be the first full speed day, so the diagnosis was two to four (weeks), but outside of that itís just based how I feel and kind of confidence I have in it.
Q: What do you need to see from yourself?
A: Just that I can be myself. Just play full speed and not try to nurse anything or not hold back and thatís going to be the full test so I have good confidence, I feel good, but like I said today is going to be the full test for me mentally and physically.
Q: How fortunate do you feel about the timing of it given the significance of the game?
A: I was just thankful and blessed that it wasnít any worse when it happened, so like I said, the diagnosis was two to four and it is kind of a burden for it to be a Thursday night game because it kind of sneaks up on us, but itís definitely a blessing just to be even in the conversation of getting back on the field. Itís definitely a Ė like I said, todayís definitely going to be the deciding factor on that, but itís definitely just a blessing to be able to even get out there today and be out there and practice with my guys.
Q: Does this feel like all hands on deck time? Itís a division game, you guys are 1-4 and if itís borderline, youíre going to do what you can to get out there?
A: We still have a long season ahead of us. Youíre right, though, it is a big division game, but itís definitely want to have the whole season in hindsight as well. Thereís going to be a lot big games left and including this one, itís a huge one. It is a big division game and a lot is at stake, but weíre not thinking about that. Weíre just trying to execute our game plan and get everybody healthy so we can have everybody on deck.
Q: You said it depends in part how you feel, but knowing how much of a competitor you are, how honest do you have to be with yourself in this situation and not convince yourself that youíre fine to get out there?
A: Thatís a big part, thatís a good question. The trainers have been doing a good job and theyíre going to be smart with me. I havenít felt rushed or anything and trying to force something that doesnít need to be forced, but I am a competitor, it sucks. These past two weeks has been kind of sucky for me not being out there with my guys, but like I said we have a lot of games left and we have a lot of big games and I feel like this team is on the verge of really becoming a good team and weíve been fighting and weíre almost there. It is a component, big part of me being competitive and wanting to be out there, but itís also just got to be smart and going forward because we have a lot of season left after this game.
Q: What tells you that youíre on the verge of breaking through?
A: I donít know if you watched us last weekendís game, but there was a point in that game where maybe last year or the old DNA of this team wouldíve given up or wouldíve tapped out. We fought, it sucked watching on TV just because I know those guys were fighting and we showed a lot of fight and a lot of heart. We fought back in that game and that guy made a great kick to win it, but weíre definitely on the verge. Our confidence is up, our energy is up. Weíre working our butts off, nobody has their head down or anything, so I just want to get back and be a part of that and also be 100 percent.
Q: You mention the old DNA of this team. Is there something that changed this year, in the beginning part of this year that feels different in the last couple of weeks?
A: Yeah definitely. Iím not saying the old DNA ever gave up or we werenít fighting, but just the circumstances that we faced last year. We had a lot of injuries and a lot of adversity. It was kind of dark, but now we still have some adversity, still have some injuries, but weíre fighting each and every day. The guys we have in this locker room are trying to find a way to get it done every single day, every single game, so thatís just a positive thing that Iíve noticed about this team and itís something that is great to be a part of.
Q: Something specific you can attribute that to, that different attitude?
A: I think itís a lot of this energy and the standards we have and the standards that are here. It sucks losing and weíre tired of it and weíre getting close to that being in the rearview mirror, so I think just how hungry we are to win those games, have that winning feeling in the locker room after those games like we did in Houston on that plane ride back. Thatís something weíre chasing and I feel like we have a lot of guys that are doing everything they can to get more of those feelings.
Q: How aware are you of whatís gone on in the division and what the standings say?
A: Iím kind of well aware. Itís pretty wide open right now. Thursday is a huge game for us and even the division games after that are huge. Every game is big, but definitely the division is wide open and we got a full plate ahead of us going forward and itís starting this Thursday.