Jets right guard Brian Winters still vividly remembers the moment he tore his abdomen and abductor muscles last season, in Week 2 at the Raiders.
Winters tried to play through the pain in the coming weeks, but it limited his performance. He wound up playing in (and starting) 13 total games before he landed on injured reserve in late December and underwent surgery.
As the Jets began offseason workouts Monday, Winters said he is 100 percent, and will fully participate in spring practices, which begin May 22 with organized team activities. He expects his health to be a big difference maker for the Jets' revamped offensive line.
"It was horrendous," Winters said of his injury in 2017. "I wouldn't give that to even my worst enemy. It was something that was very tough and hurtful, from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed. Not only when I was doing stuff. Just walking in general was painful."
During games, Winters said he was unable to "be myself."
"I wasn't able to do anything," he said. "The year before, I was healthy, and I felt great. That's who I am. That's how I play. I wasn't able to do any of that. Going into a game, I felt like I was walking on eggshells, because I didn't want to do anything to take me out of the game.
"So I was playing very conservative. I wasn't able to be the type of player that I am. It was a tough year. Anyone can judge on last year, but this is a whole new year."
His goal for 2018?
"To be a dominant offensive lineman," he said. "I was on the right track the year before, and then this injury happened. To me, [health] going to be a game changer. If you put an offensive guard out there with one leg, and try to do what he's supposed to do, it's kind of tough."