FOXBORO, Mass. — Brandon LaFell put the concerns of New England Patriots’ fans to rest.
The Patriots wide receiver, who set career highs this season with 74 catches for 953 yards and seven touchdowns, is ready to play Saturday against the Baltimore Ravens despite a toe injury that knocked him out of practice during the playoff bye week.
“I’m doing great, man, rested up my body a little bit,” LaFell said Thursday in the Patriots’ locker room. “Now it’s game week, ready to get out there and play and make plays.
“No need to hold your breaths on me. I’m fine, but at the same time we got guys like Brian Tyms, Josh Boyce, we got (Julian Edelman) and we got (Danny Amendola), man, guys who have played ball around here for a long time and guys who can make plays. So don’t worry about anything.”
If LaFell is worried about anything, it’s the weather. The receiver grew up in Houston, went to LSU and was drafted by the Carolina Panthers. LaFell was ecstatic about mild summer temperatures in New England during training camp, but now those positive feelings are coming back to bite him.
“Man, it ain’t nothing you can do about this cold weather, man,” LaFell said. “Just go out there and hopefully your body will warm up sooner or later, and just go out there and play fast.
“You gotta give some to lose some, man. I gave up the hot days in camp in Carolina for the cool days up here. Now I got this cold, harsh winter, and it’s a littler warmer in Carolina. But hey man, we’re still playing ball, and I can’t complain about that.”
When LaFell woke up Thursday morning, temperatures in Foxboro were in the single digits, and the wind chill was negative. This is new ground for LaFell to cover.
“”Never. I never felt this way,” LaFell said. “I never looked at the weather and it had one digit on there. I’ve never seen anything like it, but everyone says this is football weather up here, so let’s go play.”
LaFell, like the rest of his Patriots teammates — other than defensive tackle Chris Jones — was bundled in layers for Thursday’s practice with jerseys on top of hoodies on long sleeves and T-shirts. The Patriots better get used to the cold — the high Saturday is forecast to be just 20 degrees.
The Patriots practiced outside despite the frigid temperatures this week, which could give them an advantage over the Ravens, who practiced inside due to frozen practice fields.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images