FOXBOROUGH — Matthew Judon is ready to score some goals.
No, New England’s standout linebacker isn’t about to switch sports, but he knows many of the Patriots’ 2021 objectives are still obtainable.
The record isn’t ideal. In fact, it’s less than ideal.
“It stinks, honestly. It stinks,” Judon said. “I can sit up here and say, ‘We could have been, or we should have been, or we could [be], but the reality of it is we’re 2-4. Nobody in [the] locker room wants to be 2-4. Nobody in the locker room is happy about that record.’’
Judon, however, doesn’t believe happiness is too far away.
“The one thing that we all are [is] encouraged. It’s not the end of the season. All hasn’t been said. It’s not written in the record books yet,’’ he said. “So, we can change that. We can change that. That’s why we’re all encouraged. We all know what we can do better. We all know what we need to do better. And we’re going to go out there and do it better. We have to or it can get ugly real fast.”
While it might be easy to be in the dumps about the start to the season, Judon said Thursday the team’s mood is more merry than morose.
“We know who we have in our locker room and we’re not going to get down on ourselves,’’ Judon said. “I won’t let anybody who comes in there think they’re a bad football player. We all have seen bad football players and I don’t think we have any of those on the team. Not one guy.’’
Kyle Van Noy knew about Zach Wilson long before anyone in Gotham had ever heard of the Jets latest wunderkind quarterback.
Van Noy was helping a friend run a 7-on-7 camp for high school recruits in Utah when he spotted a young gunslinger that had committed to the veteran linebacker’s alma mater, Brigham Young. Van Noy liked what he saw and was certain he would be seeing a lot more of Wilson.
“You knew he was going to be special,’’ Van Noy said Thursday. “He’s got a cannon, and he carries himself in a different way that you’re like, ‘OK, he’s got it.’ That’s the kind of guy you like.’’
Van Noy quickly cut himself off to say he won’t like the rookie come Sunday when the Jets are in town.
Cutting Wilson off won’t be as easy this time around as the Patriots intercepted the second overall pick four times en route to their first victory of the season.
Van Noy didn’t play in that Week 2 matchup because of a throat injury but in watching Wilson’s progression on tape over the last month, he’s seen a player that has made tremendous strides.
“You just see a lot of talent and him understanding his players better, how to navigate through the pocket better, just everything he’s done [has been] better,’’ said Van Noy. “Decisions are better, and he’s definitely getting better each and every week, and I knew that back when I met him.’’
The Patriots injury report is still longer than a CVS receipt, but the club did receive some good news when defensive starters Dont’a Hightower (elbow/ankle) and Deatrich Wise Jr. (knee) were upgraded to limited for Thursday’s practice after sitting out the day before.
Nose tackle Davon Godchaux (finger) and cornerbacks Jonathan Jones (ankle) and Shaun Wade (concussion) were the only players to sit out Thursday.
Also listed as limited for the shells and sweats session included: defensive lineman Christian Barmore (shoulder); linebackers Kyle Van Noy (groin), Josh Uche (shoulder), Ja’Whaun Bentley (ribs), and Brandon King (thigh); cornerback Jalen Mills (hamstring); safeties Adrian Phillips (back) and Kyle Dugger (knee); running back Brandon Bolden (thigh); guard Shaq Mason (abdomen); and kicker Nick Folk (left knee).
He’s still steaming
Nelson Agholor acknowledged he’s still a bit steamed about his dropped pass on the first play of the overtime loss to the Cowboys. “I’m mad about that one. Don’t really want to talk about it,’’ he said, shaking his head. “I think part of me got a little eager, got a little eager, peaking ahead a little bit. I just wasn’t in the moment. I didn’t keep my eyes on it, kind of peaking ahead [but] it’s over with.’’ . . . Free agent cornerback Brian Poole, who worked out for the Patriots on Wednesday, did the same for the Texans Thursday.