FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski stole headlines Monday when he announced to the media that he’ll be playing Week 1 against the Miami Dolphins. Defensive tackle Sealver Siliga had an announcement of his own, however.
“Yeah, I feel great. I’m ready to get this thing going, and I’m ready to play on Sunday,” Siliga said in the Patriots locker room as he recovers from a sprained wrist.
Siliga projects as a starter on the Patriots’ defense after an at-times dominant first year with the team in 2013. Siliga can add some run-stopping prowess to the “regular” defense, whether it’s in a 3-4 or 4-3 alignment.
Siliga injured his wrist during joint practices with the Washington Redskins four weeks ago and missed the entire preseason, but he was still able to make the 53-man roster, which shows the Patriots’ confidence in the 24-year-old defender.
Siliga is taking the next six days to get prepared to take a live snap again.
“It’s been awhile. It’s been about a month since I’ve taken my last snap,” Siliga said. “That’s what today is for, and then the next few days to get back out there and start running around with the fellas to see where I can pick up.”
Siliga adds versatility to the Patriots’ defense, because he can line up at nose tackle, allowing Vince Wilfork to to take on a more disruptive role at defensive end. Adding Siliga, a 325-pounder like Wilfork, to the defense also could allow the Patriots to use a lighter defender, like Chandler Jones, at the other defensive end position.
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