FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots running back Fred Taylor's carries came late in Monday's victory against the Jets, but Taylor was oh so appreciative for the opportunity to get back on track.

"It felt real good," Taylor said Wednesday. "I felt really well. I had to start chipping away at that rust somehow. Just to get an opportunity, it felt good."

Taylor rushed four times for nine yards, but it came late in the fourth quarter when the Jets were selling out against the run. Point being, Jim Brown would have had trouble putting up numbers under those circumstances.

Taylor earned his first carries since Week 3 against the Bills, when he suffered a severe toe injury on his left foot. He returned to practice on a limited basis in Week 10 but didn't suit up against the Steelers or Colts. Then, Taylor was active against the Lions but didn't check into the game.

Monday marked the most significant benchmark in his long road back, and Taylor is excited to keep building upon that progress.

"Just to be out there and be with the team, number one, and to get back into the groove, to see how things play out, that felt a lot better than being at home, being frustrated, especially in the loss versus Cleveland," Taylor said. "You feel helpless because you can't do anything to help the guys, and then that's more frustrating than just actually watching it.

"My entire life, I've earned everything that I've gotten. To be out, you feel bad that you're out because you can't do something you love, and then it only multiplies because you can't do anything about it in a sense. So, just to have the opportunity to get back out there, it was great. Regardless of how little the time was, but you've got to start somewhere and then build on it."