Malcolm Mitchell’s feelings for the New England Patriots haven’t hardened since his departure from their ranks.
The former Patriots wide receiver revealed in an interview with The Boston Herald’s Kevin Duffy published Thursday he remains an avid Pats fan, despite his preseason release from the team. Knee injuries prevented Mitchell, the Patriots’ fourth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, from building on his promising rookie season, which culminated in their unforgettable win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI. He missed all but one preseason game last year and didn’t make the squad this season.
Nevertheless, Mitchell watches every game from afar, and the Patriots and the Boston area still are dear to him.
“I love Boston, I love the Patriots,” Mitchell said. “I love (Patriots owner) Mr. (Robert) Kraft, I love (Patriots head coach) Bill (Belichick), I love my teammates. I loved everything about being there, to be completely honest. It’s unfortunate that a situation arose to where I’m no longer there performing with the team, but I will always consider Boston, Foxboro, the New England area a place where I can visit. If I’m ever in a situation where I have the opportunity to live there, I’ll do that.
“Football is one of those uncontrollable things, right? You have injuries, you have situations. But the love I have for New England, that’s not going to change.”
Mitchell is determined to overcome the knee injuries that have dogged him since college. However, he’s uncertain when he’ll be healthy enough to return to the NFL, according to Duffy.
“My No. 1 priority in terms of football is to make sure that the next time I step on the field it’ll be for a substantial amount of time, not to go through the same cycle of injuries again,” Mitchell said.
Until the time comes when Mitchell competes against the Patriots, they’ll continue to be part of his Sunday routine as fall gives way to winter.
“I put on my cutoff sweatshirt,” Mitchell said, “and I sit down, and I watch and I cheer them on.”
That should look and sound familiar to many in this region.
Thumbnail photo via Kelley L Cox/USA TODAY Sports Images