Once Faulk collected himself and accepted the fact that he had torn the ACL in his right knee during the Patriots' Week 2 loss to the Jets, the running back told himself he'd work to get himself back for another year in New England.
"The day I got hurt, that was it," Faulk said Saturday. "That was in my mindset, but at the same time, I knew I had to make the football team.
Faulk re-upped with the Patriots on Saturday, but he can't practice with the team until Aug. 4 due to the NFL's strange post-lockout policy. He said he'd deal with the things he can't control, but he seemed to be a little antsy about getting back onto the field, mostly because he wants to see how he has mentally recovered since the injury.
"That's why I have to get on the football field," Faulk said. "That's one thing. I know, physically, I feel good, but mentally, I want to get out there and see how it is, getting hit, pushing and pulling against linebackers and stuff. That's just the process of it.
There were two other critical moments during Faulk's comeback trail. Prior to the lockout, he received a call from Bill Belichick, who passed along the most assuring message that Faulk could have received.
"[Belichick] told me, 'Hey, look, Kevin, I want you on my team in 2011,'" Faulk said. "That was motivation enough for me to go out and rehab my butt off and get ready for the season, whatever it may be and whenever it may come. That was pretty much enough for me.
Faulk credited the medical staff at LSU for helping him through his recovery process, particularly because he couldn't work with the Patriots' staff during the lockout. He said everything clicked prior to the Pats' players-only workouts at Boston College in early June, and that's when he knew the return was in certain order.
"Whenever you're going through it, you have to see what's going to happen and how your body is going to respond to it," Faulk said. "There was a point I started feeling it coming back, and it started feeling real good. From there, it was, 'Just keep going. Keep pushing yourself.'"