FOXBORO, Mass. — Wide receiver Taylor Price generated some nice momentum in the Patriots' preseason opener, but it came to a frustrating halt over the ensuing week and a half.
Price missed the Pats' next six practices with an unspecified injury, though he did take a pair of hard hits against the Jaguars — one flag-inducing head shot on a pass over the middle, and another leg-tangling tackle on a punt return. Price has participated in each of New England's last three practices, so he should have an opportunity to return to action Saturday night in Detroit.
"It's big," Price said. "That first game doesn't mean anything. You've got to get back out there on the field again, prove it again, keep proving yourself. In the league, you've got to prove yourself each and every week. I'm going to go out there, keep getting better and keep making plays."
Price didn't miss any action against the Jaguars, so he showed some toughness by sticking it out. However, after being inactive for 16 of the Patriots' 17 games in 2010 (including the playoffs), Price didn't have a lot of room for error. While his skills and athleticism appear undeniable, he has to prove to the coaching staff that he can be a contributing member of the team.
Price said those hits helped him get acclimated to the speed of the game, especially for receivers who don't take hard hits during practice.
"Being tough is part of the game," Price said. "You're going to take some hits as a receiver going across the middle. Get back up and go on to the next play. That creates that confidence in that quarterback, the chemistry that you need that you're going to go get those balls no matter what the situation is."