PROVIDENCE -- Kevin Faulk had some news to break while visiting Hasbro Children's Hospital in Rhode Island on Thursday afternoon.
"I'm training to come back and play," he told reporters. "But it's not up to me, it's up to the team and everything. But I am planning on coming back to play. So we'll see what happens."
"Everyone says you don't have anything to prove, which I don't. I don't play the game of football to prove anything to anyone. I play the game of football because I love it.... It took me a while to make a decision, but I felt like I needed it this time.... I've been blessed to be able, in my eyes, play for one of the best organizations in the NFL. To have that opportunity to be able to play again -- I wanted to give myself the time and thought to think about it. And I thought about it and I knew what my heart it; it's always been with the Patriots."
Faulk, 35, entertained ideas of retiring after he did not dress for the Patriots' Super Bowl loss to the Giants.
"I'm human. I was stressing," he admitted. "Not playing as much as I did before last year... that kind of weighed into my factor of, 'Is it time for me to let it go?' But in my mind I still knew that I could play the game of football.
"Coming back last year, I don't think it was me physically, playing the game, I think it was more for me mentally. And when I say mentally, if you've been playing the game as long as I have at the same speed for the New England Patriots, everything has to be perfect. You have to be perfect. And last year it didn't feel that way for me at all, until toward the end of the season. But at that point in time it was too late because our team was already developed."
What's changed? His knee, for one. Faulk said he's encouraged by the progress his body is making which, in turn, impacts his attitude.
"It's totally different than a year ago at this time. I feel like it's back to where it was. I feel like it is back to where it was at some point during the season last year. Like I said, mentally I wasn't there. Every aspect of the game wasn't there for me last year through the course of the season."
Faulk is a free agent so the fact that he's willing to return doesn't necessarily mean that he will. The Patriots (or another team) would still have to be willing to give him a job.
"I just pray to God, let him take care of it. Today, y'all going to blast it out, so they're going to hear it," he laughed.
Indeed, Faulk seemed at peace with his decision and what may -- or may not -- come of it.
"If it doesn't come, it doesn't come; I'm content with it. That's another part of the decision I had to make, that if a phone call doesn't come from the New England Patriots, are you ready for that? Yes, I am."