As a small horde of inquisitors cleared one by one away from Gerard Warren’s locker, I stayed behind, wanting to get a couple of more questions in as the sixth-year defensive tackle held court.
He’d already talked about how whether he could practice Friday would help determine whether he could play on Sunday. But I wanted to know whether Warren felt pain whenever he took a step.
“I feel pain thinking about taking a step,” he said.
But Warren has played with much more severe injuries than the sprained right big toe that he endures presently.
“(The) worst injury I ever played with — it would have to be in college. I had a real bad pinched nerve in my neck,” Warren recalled. “I guess they call it a ‘stinger.’ Your head gets snapped in one direction, like, say, to the left, and your whole left side goes numb, almost like you’re paralyzed.
“(It was) way worse than this. I couldn’t turn my head. If I turned my head (to the left), my left side would go numb.”
What he deals with now isn’t to that extreme, although it is bad enough to leave him out of practice Wednesday and Thursday. He expects today’s practice to provide the test as to whether he’ll take part in Sunday’s game.
“It’s all about how much pain threshold you have inside you as an individual,” Warren said. “I think mine’s pretty high and with all things greenlighted (Friday), I’ll go out to practice and see how it goes and hopefully I’ll be out there Sunday.”
Receiving a painkilling injection is largely out of the question — “I’ve never been big on painkillers,” he said.
“Pain’s pretty much what I’ve got to deal with,” he said. “(There’s) no fear of damaging it too much further than what I’ve already done.”
While the dislocated toe he suffered in training camp kept him sidelined for four weeks, this injured toe has caused him far more discomfort.
“Initially the pain was a little more severe (with the sprain) because with a dislocation, they just put that back in place so the pain pretty much went away,” Warren said. “This one, I just sprained the big toe, and stretched it pretty good.
“It is pretty frustrating,” he added. “My feet are pretty important to me, being that I have to set my balance with them on the field. I just have to fight through it. It’s going to be difficult, a lot of pain, but I don’t think it’s going to stop me.”