FIGHTING THROUGH: Despite being among the Patriots’ 12 questionables on this week’s injury report, Danny Woodhead appears ready to go tomorrow against Dallas. Photo by Nancy Lane
FOXBORO -— Danny Woodhead isn’t the type to enjoy sitting around watching. The Patriots running back is as competitive as he is diminutive, which means he hated missing last week’s win over the Jets.
“It’s not the easiest thing to watch, especially when you’re (injured),” Woodhead said yesterday. “We went out and we were able to get a win — that’s huge. Obviously, I wasn’t able to be out there to cheer ’em on, but we got the win. That’s really, when it comes down to it, that’s the most important thing.”
The third-down back, who is averaging 4.4 yards per rush this season, is listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Cowboys after going down against the Raiders. Yet considering he moved around during all three days of practice without limping, figure he’s good to go.
“Making sure I can do everything possible to know the game plan,” Woodhead said, “doing everything I can to just get better every day.”
Safety Josh Barrett, considered a starter, is out with a hamstring injury. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (toe) missed Thursday’s practice, but returned yesterday. Green-Ellis is listed as questionable.
“Whatever (Green-Ellis’) availability is for the game then we’ll take our best estimate of that and list it that way in the injury report,” coach Bill Belichick said.
Mayo’s surprising return
Linebacker Jerod Mayo, who suffered an MCL sprain against the Raiders, was an unexpected participant in yesterday’s light practice on the stadium field. Mayo’s time table for recovery could have extended to six weeks, but that’s not likely now that it appears to be going well. Perhaps the best-case scenarios is for Mayo (listed as questionable) to return after the bye.
If that happens, it will mean he missed only two games.
Cowboys center Phil Costa, last remembered as the object of quarterback Tony Romo’s angst for his poor snaps, decided it would be a good idea to trash-talk with defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. In retrospect, not a great idea.
Costa, responding to a questioner on Twitter about Wilfork, said, “Of course, I’m ready. He’s more like a speed bump than a mountain.”
When told of the remarks, Wilfork started laughing.
“That’s fine,” Wilfork said. “I play on Sundays. I’m not a media guy, giving back and forth. I’ll be there (tomorrow). He can tell me that then. I don’t care about all that stuff.”
In general, Wilfork believes pressure is key to affecting Romo.
“For the front to be able to get to Romo and then for (the secondary) to be able to cover guys, it has to go hand-in-hand,” Wilfork said. “We have our work cut out for us.”
Waiting for Cannon
After tomorrow’s game, the Patriots will be able to activate their players off reserve lists, including guard Marcus Cannon. The fifth-round pick from TCU received treatment for cancer in the offseason, but Belichick was clear that before any call is made regarding his football career “it starts as a medical decision.” That may indicate Cannon has not yet been cleared, health-wise.
“Once a player is cleared medically, then it becomes a football decision,” Belichick said. “Until then, there’s no decision to make.”
Belichick said he’ll evaluate Cannon next week.
Patriots receiver Wes Welker and running back Stevan Ridley both grew up Cowboys fans, with Ridley wearing his No. 22 for Emmitt Smith. “My favorite runner by far,” Ridley said.
As for Welker, he was raised in Oklahoma City, and America’s Team was the closest to him. Yet Welker’s ties to the Cowboys don’t end there. He was in Miami when now-head coach Jason Garrett was the Dolphins quarterbacks coach.
“Jason’s such a great coach,” Welker said. “Being in Miami with him, he always put so much confidence in you, knowing you can go out there and be successful.”