FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots may have Stephon Gilmore back in action when they take on the Texans at Houston Sunday. The All-Pro cornerback has missed the last three games with a knee injury; he was a limited participant in practice this week and has been listed as questionable.
“I feel pretty good,” Gilmore said on a video call Friday. “Looking forward to this week. I’m just trying to take it day by day and keep preparing like I’m going to play this week.”
The return of Gilmore would be good news for a Patriots team that is trying to claw its way back into the playoff race, particularly with DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, and the rest of the Arizona Cardinals coming to Gillette Stadium Nov. 29.
Earlier Friday, coach Bill Belichick praised Gilmore for helping behind the scenes to get the players who were active ready to play against the Bills, Jets, and Ravens the last three weeks.
“Steph works hard,” said Belichick. “He works hard to prepare himself, but he’s a good teammate and he works hard to help those, in this case, that were playing in his place. Or he’ll help those guys that are playing with him when he’s playing that maybe he’s done something that they’re doing, or covered a guy that they’ve covered and can help implement that knowledge to the other person that’s doing it.”
“It was tough not playing, seeing your guys out there, seeing the guys you compete with every day, not being able to help,” said Gilmore. “But I could help in another way, as far as teaching a guy to be able to see what I see on the field, teaching them certain techniques.”
Asked why he listed his house in Foxborough for sale at the trade deadline earlier this month, Gilmore said he wanted to move to the city. The nine-year veteran, who is signed through the 2021 season, was asked if he saw himself with the Patriots long-term.
“That’s a question you have to ask the organization,” said Gilmore, 30. “The one thing I can do every day is just come to work, prepare, and try to give it my best each and every week.
“We’ve got great coaches here. We’ve got great players. We’ve got young players here that are getting better and better. I’m just enjoying the moment. I love being here. I love the culture. I’m happy that I’m a Patriot.”
Julian Edelman didn’t practice Friday, reducing the likelihood that he will be activated for Sunday. The receiver is on injured reserve after having a knee procedure but has already missed the requisite three games and can start practicing at any time … The Patriots had 100 percent attendance at practice from the 53-man roster for the third consecutive day. Also, running back Sony Michel (quadriceps) and offensive lineman Justin Herron (ankle), both of whom are on IR, participated in the sweats-and-shells session, held in optimal November conditions — sunny and 61 degrees. The Patriots have until Nov. 26 to activate Michel and Dec. 9 to activate Herron … Practice squad receiver Isaiah Zuber returned to practice after missing back-to-back days, while practice squad tight end Jake Burt missed his second straight practice after returning from IR Wednesday. “Sometimes things come up with [practice squad] guys from time to time and that causes them to miss a day or something like that,’' Belichick said. “It’s really fairly common when you have a 16-man practice squad that over the course of a period of time that somebody might come up with something that would have them not practice.”
Making a list
The Patriots didn’t rule out any players for the Texans game but did list 15 as limited/questionable, with the addition of wide receiver N’Keal Harry (shoulder) Friday. The players who were previously listed: special teams captain Matthew Slater (knee), Gilmore (knee), linebackers Ja’Whaun Bentley (groin) and Terez Hall (shoulder), defensive tackles Lawrence Guy (shoulder, elbow, knee) and Adam Butler (shoulder), defensive ends John Simon (elbow) and Deatrich Wise (knee, hand), guards Joe Thuney (ankle) and Shaq Mason (calf), left tackle Isaiah Wynn (ankle), running back Damien Harris (ankle, chest), tight end Ryan Izzo (hamstring, hand), and kicker Nick Folk (back).