Patriots teammates praise Mankins for toughness

Patriots teammates praise Mankins for toughness
December 30, 2013, 4:30 pm
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FOXBORO -- Logan Mankins didn't appear much worse for wear after suffering an ankle injury during New England's weekend win over Buffalo.

The starting left guard went down in the second quarter after springing LeGarrette Blount for a 36-yard touchdown run. After being helped to the sideline, he went to the locker room for further evaluation. The injury was announced shortly thereafter.

But Mankins returned to the field one series later.

"I definitely feel like when your mind and your body are on the same track you should be unstoppable, and Logan Mankins is a great example of that," teammate Chandler Jones said. "His mental toughness -- not just physical toughness, but his mental toughness -- is something that you want to look at and [emulate]. He's a role model. He's one of the leaders on our team and I look up to that, I do."

There was a walking boot in front of Mankins' locker Monday, but it's impossible to say what that means for his status going forward. Head coach Bill Belichick didn't offer any more information on the injury during his conference call Monday, and the team can keep Mankins out of sight during the bye week.

It's not like New England's first playoff opponent -- whether the Bengals, Chargers, Colts, or Chiefs -- will count him out. It's common knowledge Mankins played a full season on a torn ACL in 2011.

"To be honest, I think this is one of the most mentally tough teams I’ve been on, through the close games that we’ve played," Rob Ninkovich noted. "Because the games that you win by three, one, those are games that take a lot out of you and we just keep coming back every week. I think as far as toughness goes, this team is one of the best I’ve ever been on."