Vince Wilfork is a big guy; there is no denying that. To this day, he remains the heaviest man on the New England Patriots‘ roster, weighing in at a 325 pounds. He carries this weight around every day, but the same cannot be said of the weight that returning from a serious injury can have. For Wilfork, his eyes are set on his future with the Patriots, not the concerns of past injuries.
After today’s joint practice with the Washington Redskins, Wilfork spoke to the media, via ESPN.com, about the Achilles injury he suffered nearly a year ago.
“I feel fine. To me, that’s in the past. I don’t even think about it,” said Wilfork. “From the first day I stepped on the field with full pads back at Gillette [Stadium], I knew I could move around and play on it. I really didn’t think much of it after that. It’s an afterthought to me right now.”
A seasoned professional, Wilfork, who actually lost weight during his rehab, is prepared to take on the 2014 season. Of course, hope and reality are two different things, and in addition to Wilfork’s size, he is also one of the older players on the New England roster. At age 32, bouncing back from an injury is not the same as it is when you are 22, but I expect Wilfork to come back as strong as he once was, if not stronger.
Any debate that the Patriots should be concerned with Wilfork’s status throughout the season needs to be settled immediately. Injuries happen and there is often nothing that can be done in regards to preventing them. Any true believer who says the Patriots should have severed ties with Wilfork in the offseason for this reason is incorrect.
Wilfork is a staple to the ever-improving Patriots’ defense, and if anything, his guidance and leadership there will be essential as the season progresses. Wilfork will be just as essential to the defense as he was two years ago when the NFL regular season kicks off on Sept. 7.