FOXBORO, Mass. — Safety James Sanders sounds like he's ready to make his preseason debut Saturday night against the Lions after missing a chunk of time with a hamstring injury.
Sanders, who has participated in all five of the Patriots' practices since Saturday, was absent for the final 10 sessions of camp. He missed the first five practices of the season and then took part in the next five sessions before his hamstring flared up.
With a full week of practice under his belt, it seems certain that he'll be on the field in Detroit.
"I'm just looking forward to it just an opportunity to be out there on the field with the guys, get an opportunity to go out there and just play a game," Sanders said. "I haven't had the opportunity to play in a game this preseason yet, and I'm excited, so I'm ready to go."
While Sanders wasn't exactly thrilled to miss 15 practices, the seventh-year safety felt confident that his experience in New England will help him stay up to speed with the defense. His presence will be valuable, too, since his steadiness has always been an asset deep in the Patriots' secondary.
"I've missed a lot," Sanders said. "The thing that has helped me is I've been in the system for a while. Mentally, I know a lot of the defenses, a lot of the plays, so I'm just trying to go out there and get my game legs, my football legs back underneath me. I'm just working hard and trying to get ready.
"I still have a ways to go, but I'm working hard and striving to get to that point. Hopefully, it will come sooner than later."