FOXBORO, Mass. — New Patriots wide receiver Donald Jones remembers the shot he took from Vince Wilfork well. And even if he didn’t, his new Patriots teammates and coaches will never let him forget it.
As Jones was running a route in the middle of the field during the Bills-Patriots Week 4 matchup, Wilfork caught wind of him, dropped into coverage and collided with the former Bills wide receiver just as he was receiving the ball. Jones couldn’t make the grab as the 325-pound behemoth caught him in midair.
“Yeah, I talked to him about it,” Jones said of Wilfork. “Guys make jokes about it all the time. They bring it up. Matter of fact, when I came on my visit here, that was one of the first things the coaches said. That’s something that I’ll never forget.”
Jones said it wasn’t the hardest hit he’s ever received, despite the size of the man hitting him. If Wilfork landed squarely on the 208-pound wideout, that answer may be a lot different.
“You know, it actually looked a lot worse than it was,” Jones said. “It didn’t hurt. I’m sure if he landed on me, it would have hurt a lot more. He caught me in the air, so the hit didn’t hurt or anything. That was not the hardest hit that I’ve taken. No.”
Jones was impressed at the time that Wilfork had the wherewithal to find him in the middle of the field. That play, more than any other, showed Wilfork’s impressive instincts.
“I don’t even really remember how Vince ended up right there when I caught the ball,” Jones said. “He was right there. So, he read it well, and he just caught me in the air, and I guess that’s something D-linemen always hope for: to catch a wide receiver coming over the middle. So he got his thing that he always hopes for, I guess.”
Jones will have to get used to lining up across from Wilfork at practice and training camp in the next few months. Luckily, Wilfork will mostly be moving forward, attacking offensive linemen, rather than wide receivers.
In case you need a refresher on the Wilfork hit, check it out below. It certainly looks painful.