Burgess: Absence for 'personal matters'

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran outside linebacker/rush defensive end Derrick Burgess participated in his first two practices Sunday since returning to the New England Patriots, but shed little light on his prior absence.

“It was basically just personal matters I had off the field that I had to take care of,” he said, later describing it as “family business that happened right before training camp.”

Burgess had not reported to training camp July 28, catching the team by surprise. The Patriots then placed him on the did-not-report list.

Burgess reportedly had been considering retirement, although he didn’t specify to reporters Sunday that was why he stayed away.

Instead, after being reinstated to the roster Friday, he focused more on turning the page as he enters his 10th NFL season, saying he’s “glad to be back” and has “no reservations.”

“I’m happy to be here,” he said. “I’m glad they’re allowing me to come back after taking care of my personal business.”

Burgess reported that he felt “a little rusty” after Sunday afternoon’s full-pads practice, but that “it felt good to run into somebody.” He has stayed in shape at his home in Mississippi and doesn’t think it will take him long to return to form.

Asked if he’s fully committed to playing for the Patriots, he responded: “That’s what I’m here for. I’m fully committed.”

Asked if it was a relief to miss the bulk of double sessions, Burgess said he didn’t look at things that way.

“I had things on my mind and much to take care of,” he said. “It was a relief once I was done with it and I could come to camp.”