FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New England Patriots running back Mike Gillislee said an MRI on his injured hamstring came back clean, and that he was a full participant in Tuesday's full-pads practice. Gillislee hasn't played in the team's first two preseason games.
"As far as injuries, that's something no football player in the world can control. It's something that has been bothering me, but I'm good now," Gillislee said of the injury that also had affected him in spring practices.
The 5-foot-11, 215-pound Gillislee had gotten off to a strong start in training camp, scoring on his first two goal-line carries, but hasn't been on the field much since. He isn't concerned about having his momentum stunted.
"It's something that just happened. I tried to burst one of those plays at the beginning of camp. ... Each and every day, I just try to stay positive and left everything up to God. I just stayed in the training room and got healthy. I was out there today giving 100 percent. I was 100 percent everything," he said, adding that he was able to "fly around a little bit" in practice.
That opens up the possibility that Gillislee will make his preseason debut Friday night against the Detroit Lions.
As for how he fits into the Patriots' versatile backfield, it's a developing picture, as Dion Lewis and Rex Burkhead have received the bulk of the between-the-tackles work in the first two preseason games and been effective. Gillislee's hard-charging running style also should be a significant factor for the Patriots, and it's notable that on the first goal-line drill of training camp, he received the first two repetitions.
"I think there’s good competition there, absolutely," Bill Belichick said on Monday. "They’re all a little bit different. They’re not really apples-to-apples where these two guys do the same thing, which one is better? One guy might be a little better at one thing. Another guy is better in a little something else. Another guy plays in the kicking game. Another guy is a little more size. Another guy is a little faster. So, I mean, they come in different packages."