<
>

Vollmer set to play on Sunday

INDIANAPOLIS -- The morning after New England Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia let it slip that Sebastian Vollmer would play Sunday for the first time since November, the offensive tackle said he would be “ready to play” if called upon.

Vollmer, who missed Tuesday’s media day due to an illness, talked to reporters about his right foot injury for the first time since suffering it against the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 27.

“I feel all right. I was under the weather for a little while, but I think it’s clearing up now,” Vollmer said of his recent illness. “Physically, I started practicing again, I think it went well. If I’m ready to play or not, [head coach] Bill [Belichick] and the medical staff make the decision.”

Vollmer missed five of the first six games of the season with a back injury, which lingered even as he tried to rehabilitate his more recent foot ailment.

"It's hard to deal with. You feel like you beat something, and then you want to get out there. You play a few games. You're obviously on a good team, you see there's a chance of going somewhere,” Vollmer said of the two injuries. “I think just dealing with injuries is hard for any player. But just missing time, and just trying to get better. It's tough sometimes."

Vollmer was less committal than his offensive line coach was when asked whether he would play in Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants.

“I prepare myself that I (will play). What’s going to happen, I don’t know (until) Sunday, I assume,” Vollmer said. “I have to wait and see.”

“If Sebastian is ready, he can help our football team, he’s a good football player,” Belichick said last Thursday. “There’s no question he would absolutely be on the game day roster if he’s ready.”

Vollmer’s parents will be flying in from Germany to attend Sunday’s game. It was back at home in Germany where Vollmer watched his first Super Bowl in 2002, when the Patriots defeated the Rams to win their first championship.

"I had a couple guys over at my house. Just watched it and really enjoyed it,” Vollmer said. “Wasn't 100 percent sure what was happening."

After not playing in over two months, Vollmer was asked whether it will be a challenging to make his return to the field for a Super Bowl.

"I've practiced for a little while now. So I'm not sure how concerned I am about that,” Vollmer said. “I think once you're in the Super Bowl, the adrenaline's going, you're motivated. You're just trying to do your best, and whatever my best is will be out there."

On Monday, coach Bill Belichick revealed Vollmer had the cast removed from his foot before the Jan. 14 divisional playoff game against the Denver Broncos and said he thought it was possible Vollmer would play in the Super Bowl.

"I'd say it's a possibility," Belichick said then. "Sebastian has gotten a lot better here over the last few weeks. He practiced last week before the Baltimore game and I'd say it was close, but obviously wasn't ready to go and we didn't activate him. This week, he's further along than what he was before the Denver game.

"He practiced (Monday), so we'll see how the week goes and see how he holds up, but I think there is definitely a possibility. We'll just have to see how he tolerates the added work and if he does well, I think you'll see him. If not, then it will be where it was in Baltimore. I don't really know if we'll know that until we put him through the full week of practice, but he's definitely making progress."