Training camp is just about a month away, and Andre Carter says he'll be ready to play if called upon.
The free agent defensive end is still recovering from a quadracepts injury that ended his season last year, but he told CBS Sports' Jason LaConfora that he could participate in some team's training camp if he's signed.
With the free-agent market largely already picked clean, Carter is nearing a return -- he vows to be ready by camp -- and he is one of a handful of players who may have fallen off the overall NFL radar, but who are being monitored closely by executives."Overall, I feel great," Carter said between rehab sessions near his home in California. "As you know, this quad injury is something that is not too common; you always hear about ACLs or MCLs, but to have it pop off the bone like that, I was like, 'Damn, I must have been doing some big thangs out there,'" at which point Carter let out one of his Barry White-worthy deep chuckles."But I had a follow-up last week and the doctors are pretty impressed with how I've come along, and as you know when it comes to rehab there's a certain timetable where you're supposed to be, and I've surpassed that. I'm ahead of the game and headed in the right direction. Even though I know this injury takes a long time, my goal has been to be back for training camp. That's my focus."
Carter told Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran in April that he had not heard from the Patriots but he was "optimistic" that something would work out.
"I could not have enjoyed that season any more than I did," Carter said of his year in New England. "I was working with guys who just love the game of football, the Patriots organization does things the right way, the city was awesome -- people wanted to know the players whether they were stars or not. It was such an amazing experience I'd love to experience it again."
0:41 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith discuss what’s going on between the Patriots and Malcolm Butler after Bill Belichick praised Jonathan Jones and Eric Rowe but didn’t have much to say on Butler.
5:39 - John Farrell thinks David Price out of the bullpen can be similar to Andrew Miller with the Indians last year in the playoffs. Our panel on BST break it down.
10:35 - Curran, Holley, Smith, and Phil Perry talk about the NFL ratings being down and why that continues to be.
15:15 - Evan Drellich joins BST after the Red Sox win to explain why Drew Pomeranz could be even more threatening, how good the bullpen actually is, and the offense not driving in runs.
FOXBORO -- The picture at wide receiver wasn't pretty for the Patriots by the time the clock hit zeros in the fourth quarter in New Orleans over the weekend.
Chris Hogan looked hobbled for much of the second half. Phillip Dorsett left with a knee injury. Danny Amendola was ruled out well in advance of kickoff with a concussion and a knee injury. Matthew Slater was ruled out due to a hamstring injury. Brandin Cooks looked like the only Patriots wideout to finish the game feeling spry.
But as the team prepares for the Texans this week, Dorsett is hoping he'll be back on the field with his teammates for practice.
"I feel good," Dorsett said in the Patriots locker room Monday. "Just a little sore, but I'm alright."
Not only would it help the Patriots offense to have another body available at receiver, but Dorsett understands how crucial it is for him to practice as much as possible. He was acquired in a trade with the Colts just before the season, and he knows he has work to do to get adjusted to his new offense.
"It's just me going out there and getting the plays in practice," Dorsett said when asked about his confidence level in running New England's system. "I feel like practice builds my confidence. If I get to play in practice, I feel more comfortable when it comes to the game."
Dorsett looked comfortable in Week 2, catching three passes for 68 yards. His first grab in the first quarter went for 23 yards and came on a play when Tom Brady, who was hit as he released, threw a floater down the right sideline. Dorsett alertly saw the pass falling short and worked back toward the line of scrimmage to make the catch.
"I think he trusts me," Dorsett said of Brady. "We work a lot during practice and after practice. Hopefully we can continue to gain more trust as the season goes on. It's only the second game. We got a long way to go."
More practice time would be helpful in allowing that relationship to continue to grow. We'll see if Dorsett gets any when the Patriots take the fields behind Gillette Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.