Stephon Gilmore couldn’t confirm if he would or wouldn’t play Week 11 against the Houston Texans, but did offer an optimistic update which makes it sound like he could return Sunday.
The New England Patriots cornerback, as you may recall, has missed the last three games with a knee injury. Gilmore suffered the injury Oct. 29 prior to a Week 8 clash with the Buffalo Bills, and hasn’t stepped onto the game field since.
“I feel pretty good, just taking it day-by-day,” Gilmore told reporters Friday in his first availability since the injury. “Looking forward to this week, trying to take it day-by-day, keep preparing like I’m going to play this week.
“I feel good. I feel real good,” Gilmore added. “So, just try to keep preparing. You know, I feel good just studying film, watching the Houston Texans and I’m looking forward to it.”
Gilmore admitted it was tough being sidelined for the past three weeks, watching his teammates take the field without him — a stretch in which New England won two of its three games.
“Once you’re out, you really take things for granted. I never took it for granted, but you really appreciate the grind each and every day. (I) appreciate playing on Sundays and just being out with your teammates,” Gilmore said. “That’s really one thing I’ve thought about these last couple weeks, and happy that I’m back healthy and looking forward to this week.”
Gilmore, though, seemed like he stayed busy. Head coach Bill Belichick praised the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year for his “guidance” during his absence, helping younger cornerbacks like J.C. Jackson and Jonathan Jones amid the team’s preparations.
“It was tough not playing, seeing your guys out there that you compete with everyday, not being able to help,” Gilmore said. “But I can help in another way, as far as teaching the guys what I see when I’m on the field, teaching them certain techniques, and going against certain guys and how you should play them. I tried to help them as much as I can.”
Gilmore was listed as a limited participant in practice both Wednesday and Thursday, making his status for Sunday’s Week 11 clash against the Houston Texans uncertain. There’s no question as to whether the Patriots would benefit from his return, though.