FOXBOROUGH — Danny Amendola stopped short of saying he’ll be in uniform Sunday against the Dolphins, or if he’s even been medically cleared to play. But he certainly gave a definitive answer if the decision was up to him.
“I had a good week, and I’m ready to go,” Amendola said after the Patriots practiced Friday. “The game’s coming and I feel as good as I can. Not really worried about the past, just worried about the future, and excited and looking forward to Sunday.”
Amendola suffered a concussion late in the game against the Saints on Oct. 13, and missed last week’s game with the Jets after not practicing. He’s been at every practice this week, although his participation has been limited. The Patriots designated him as questionable against the Dolphins.
He’ll need to be cleared by doctors before he’s allowed to play in a game, and he wouldn’t directly answer if he has been cleared. He did say he’s passed the tests he’s taken so far. He admitted to having suffered one previous concussion in the NFL, prior to the existing NFL protocol dealing with head injuries.
“It’s frustrating, because they’ve got protocol and stuff now with head injuries,” Amendola said. “You might feel good, you might feel ready to go, but the doctors might not let you go. I feel good now, and I’m ready to go.”
Amendola has been limited to just three games this season, his first with the Patriots. He caught 10 passes in the season-opening win over the Bills, but suffered a groin injury that cost him the next three games. He returned against Cincinnati (four catches), then was hurt against New Orleans.
He’s seen the replay of the hit he took that knocked him out of the Saints game, but said the hit — or the injury that came with it — won’t change the way he plays.
“I don’t think about it too much. If it happens, it happens,” Amendola said. “I don’t go looking to run into things and get concussions, but it’s a rough game, that’s why everybody keeps playing and loves to watch it. But I feel good now, and that’s all that matters to me.
“I’ll be fine, it’s not going to scare me to play the way I play. I’ve still got a job to do.”
Quarterback Tom Brady (right shoulder) participated fully in Friday’s practice, and was listed as probable for the Dolphins. Brady was added to the injury report for the first time all season on Thursday.
In addition to Amendola, cornerback Aqib Talib (hip) was also listed as questionable, despite practicing all week. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm) was listed as probable for the first time all season. He was questionable last week before making his season debut against the Jets.
The Patriots ruled out defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (knee) and running back Leon Washington (ankle). Kelly made a rare appearance in the locker room since his Oct. 6 injury, but politely declined an interview request, saying only, “I can’t do interviews until I’m back on the field, and I’m day to day.”
No Dolphins were declared out; starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill (right shoulder) and seven others were listed as probable.
Signed this week and rejoining the Patriots for the first time since a 10-sack 2011 season, defensive lineman Andre Carter survived his first three practices, and is looking forward to playing in a game again.
“It was just like riding a bike,” Carter said of getting back on the field. “I think the most important thing was that I stayed active during my time when I wasn’t playing; worked hard in the weight room, made sure my conditioning was up, got my rest, and ate well. I felt good.”
Carter pointed out that football shape is different than non-football shape, and that practice shape is different than game shape. He’s working his way up to game shape, making sure he enjoys the ride.
“I’m just going out to have fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve played here, and I’m just happy to be back, enjoying and embracing this experience, having fun with these young kids, and trying to give them the right direction,” Carter said. “When I’m in, just have fun.”