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A good week for Watt

Back to work: Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick returned to training on Thursday after missing the Saints game with an appendectomy on Saturday.

“It’s pretty good,” Fitzpatrick said. “Obviously you’re feeling it days away from surgery, on the table. You’re feeling it. I just want to keep working and when Sunday comes we’ll see how I feel.”

Fitzpatrick said on Thursday evening last week that he felt pain in his stomach, an unusual fullness.

“It started Thursday night. I felt full in my stomach,” Fitzpatrick said. “Friday I trained and I was fine. Saturday I went around and I was fine. I told the coaches I still felt the pain, that feeling of fullness.”

After a few attempts to see what the problem was, seeing the doctor was the next step.

“I was on the operating table 20 minutes later,” Fitzpatrick said.

While he’s returned to practice, how he fares the rest of the week will determine whether or not he can play Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals at Acrisure Stadium. He also said that protecting it with padding might not be the answer.

“The worry is where they’re cutting, they’re cutting muscle,” Fitzpatrick said. “You just want to make sure it’s healed. I don’t think the padding will do too much. It’s the muscle they’re cutting. It’s more the twisting, rotating, stretching up and down, stuff like that, which makes it worse. The doctor said if I played, he doesn’t think the padding will do too much.”

Fitzpatrick told coach Mike Tomlin last week that he wanted to play, but his coach didn’t hear him. Fitzpatrick said Tomlin’s message this week is to make sure he’s feeling good before stepping out on the court.

“He just tells me to be smart, to be honest with myself,” Fitzpatrick said. “He said if I can’t perform at 110 per cent, there’s no point in me being out there and getting hurt and not giving it my all.”

In his absence last week, safety Damontae Kazee, who was just released from the reserve/injured list, took the start and provided energy and spark in the secondary.

“He’s a great player. I love playing with him,” Fitzpatrick said. “I trained with him. I haven’t been able to play with him. I’m delighted to see what it’s like, the three of us playing there. He never has a bad day. He’s full of energy , excitement. He brings passion to the game.”