Stephon Gilmore will play in Week 10, says he's "locked in" for return
Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore was finally starting to turn his play around in Week 5. His performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that week started to assuage concerns over his $65 million megadeal and subpar effort on the field. Then, he got concussed.
He was quickly ruled out for Weeks 5, 6, and 7. While he practiced leading up to the Patriots' Week 8 date with the Los Angeles Chargers, Gilmore could not play in that game either. Finally, the star confirmed that he's "looking forward" to making his return after New England's bye, per NESN and ESPN's Mike Reiss:
I feel like I got better. I felt comfortable that game," he said. "The more you play, and the more you play with guys, you get more comfortable. I feel better. Week to week, you feel comfortable, you keep playing, communication, tackling, footwork, all that stuff gets better."
When asked about Johnson Bademosi's excellent play in his stead, Gilmore said that he was happy to see the secondary fare well without him and that he made the most of his month on the sideline:
“I’ve still been locked in and studying, staying studying, going over the game plan like I’m playing, so it was good,” Gilmore said. “I was able to see how the guys played and go from there.”
For the team's sake, hopefully Gilmore is able to return in peak form--he'll face a tough test on Sunday night against Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. But with Bademosi and Jonathan Jones able to fill in, the Pats should be covered at cornerback for the near future even if Gilmore struggles.