FOXBORO -- Sometimes the new guys just don’t know any better. I suspect Mike Gillislee will get more familiar with the Patriot way, at least when it comes to discussing injuries, after Tuesday’s locker room session.
Gillislee, who has a history of hamstring injuries and showed up to mini-camp with a pre-existing problem from prior workouts with the Bills, suffered yet another pull on the first weekend of training camp and had been unable to practice with the team until today.
“It’s something that just happened,” said Gillislee. “I tried to burst on one those plays at the beginning of camp, it just happened and I was able to get an MRI and everything was good.”
So good, in fact, that the former Bills and Dolphins running back claimed that he's now 100 percent, and was a full participant at practice. That’s good news for the Pats, who clearly were betting on Gillislee to help fill the role that LeGarrette Blount had a season ago. Of course, betting on the 26-year old isn’t necessarily a sure thing. Those hamstrings issues have plagued him throughout his career, even costing him an entire season in 2014.
“Far as injuries, no football player can’t control it,” said Gillislee when asked if he had modified his training regimen to account for these recurrence of hamstring problems. “That was something that was bothering me, but I’m good now.”
Bill Belichick has been pleased with the running-back situation, despite not having Gillislee a full go, terming it a “good competition” just a day ago. Dion Lewis was explosive in the second preseason game, looking like the same player who took the league by storm in 2015 before tearing up his knee. Rex Burkhead has justified Belichick’s faith in him to this point, capable of running between the tackles, down by the goal line and catching the ball. James White has basically had an easy go of it, but we know how the Pats feel about him (they rewarded the Super Bowl hero with a contract extension this offseason). So does that leave Gillislee in catchup mode after the layoff?
“I went out there and I don’t think I missed a step because I was studying and took visual reps each and every day,” he said. “I studied and was able to go out today and fly around a little bit.”
Good to hear. But with his history, something that bears watching in the days, weeks and months to come.