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Chiefs’ Sammy Watkins figures Florida homecoming will cure what ails him

The Fort Myers native is working his way back from a calf injury that has sidelined him since Week 16.
Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins runs after a catch during the second half of a game against the Broncos on Dec. 6.
Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins runs after a catch during the second half of a game against the Broncos on Dec. 6. [ REED HOFFMANN | Associated Press ]
Published Feb. 2

Chiefs receiver Sammy Watkins is making progress in returning from a calf injury that has sidelined him since Dec. 27.

But the Fort Myers native said coming back to his home state this weekend for the Super Bowl, his second straight in the Sunshine State after last year’s win in Miami Gardens, definitely will help him feel better.

“This is something special,” he said Tuesday on a media Zoom call. “My family can come down and watch the game hopefully. Just being in the state of Florida in general, just being in that atmosphere in general is going to help me as far as playing football in Florida in high school (at South Fort Myers High).

“Whatever is going on with my body now should be gone when I hit Florida, so I can go out there and have fun and play around.”

Watkins practiced Monday and said he is feeling “great” and was “very optimistic” he can play, but his work the next few days with the training staff will determine if he has “a chance to possibly go out there and feel 100 percent or 95 or 85, wherever I get at by Sunday.”

Watkins is 27, having played nine seasons in the NFL after starring at Clemson, and said his focus has changed from compiling stats to winning championships.

“The person that I am, I love to win,” Watkins said. “Why we play this game is win Super Bowls. It’s not for stats, it’s not for fame. ... It messes up the person I am when I focus on that.

“I think I’m a driven person as far as teammates. I put my teammates first. Early in my career I wasn’t like that. I was that guy, I wanted the ball. Even if we were losing, I wanted the ball every time. I’m not saying I’m not like that — I control that. I’m older now, understand the team goal, what we’re trying to do and what type of team I’m on.”

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