Winston cleared to play in two weeks

BY Alex Marvez • March 13, 2012

There is an asterisk attached to the surprising release of long-time Houston Texans right tackle Eric Winston.

A source told that Winston was cut under the “failed physical” designation by the Texans. Winston, though, told that the billing stems from his having undergone arthroscopic ankle surgery in February.

In a text message, Winston said he will be medically cleared in two weeks. Winston also said he would be fully healed by now had he undergone the minor procedure in January.

At that time, Winston had no idea he wouldn’t be playing for the Texans in 2012. He had started every game for the past five seasons and was considered one of the league’s better right tackles. But with a $5.5 million base salary for 2012 and the Texans having salary-cap issues, Winston became expendable.

Winston was en route to South Florida on Tuesday night for a visit with the Miami Dolphins. Winston played at the University of Miami and his brother Matt is a Dolphins college scout.