Stephon Gilmore Explains Why He Sat Out Tuesday’s Patriots-Texans Practice

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Stephon Gilmore’s lack of participation in Tuesday’s New England Patriots-Houston Texans joint practice was the result of a coach’s decision, the cornerback revealed Wednesday.

“I just stayed out,” Gilmore said, via the Boston Herald’s Jeff Howe. “I felt like it was a good time. I had to listen to the coaches and whatever they wanted me to do. They wanted me to stay out, so I stayed out.

“I was just sitting back and observing, studying the game from the sideline, taking mental reps.”

Gilmore, who watched Tuesday’s practice in full pads, returned to action Wednesday and, according to Howe, looked “terrific in coverage” against the Texans’ wide receivers.

“Coming out here and finally getting to go against some new guys, not your own receivers, it’s always fun to come out here and play your game, get fired up in 1-on-1s and 7-on-7s,” Gilmore said, per Howe. “It’s fun. They’ve got a lot of great players. They’re athletic. It’s good to come out here, not beat each other up, go against somebody else and try to learn how to play against them.”

The 26-year-old, who joined the Patriots on a five-year, $65 million contract in March, has been a full participant in all but one practice this summer. He and Malcolm Butler are expected to begin the season as New England’s starting cornerbacks.

Like most Patriots veterans, Gilmore did not play against the Jacksonville Jaguars in last Thursday’s preseason opener. It remains unclear how the team will handle its lineup for Saturday’s matchup with the Texans in Houston.

Thumbnail photo via Zack Cox/NESN.com

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