After his first Patriots practice since undergoing offseason surgery to repair a torn ACL, guard Logan Mankins made one thing clear: If he can run, he will play.
That apparently includes playing on that torn right ACL, an injury that was originally thought to have been suffered in February during the Super Bowl. Mankins told reporters after Sunday's practice that the injury "happened a long time ago. A lot longer than you would have thought it happened."
Mankins sprained his left MCL in Week 16 against Miami, and missed New England's regular-season finale.
Mankins told reporters Sunday that he most likely injured the right knee sometime during the season. He said the knee was not "100 percent, but it was still functionable," so he kept playing throughout the postseason and into the Super Bowl.
"Yeah, well, Super Bowl was a tough one," Mankins said. "I was banged up a little, but everyone was at that point in the year. Everyone knew something wasn't quite right. That's why we had an MRI after the game to see what was wrong. If I can run, I'm not going to sit any game. I'm here to play football, not to watch and collect a check."
Mankins was removed from New England's PUP list and practiced during Sunday's shells and shorts practice, but sat out team drills. Per the CBA, he must spend one more practice in shells before he can progress to full pads.
"In years past I was always one of the guys that made fun of the guys that was hurt, now I got put in that position," Mankins said. "I always felt like we're here to do a job, so you should be out there practicing and playing. The first few weeks of camp was tough not to be out there, but it was something that had to be done."