FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, sidelined the past three games with a foot injury, said Wednesday that he'd "do everything in my power to be out there Sunday."
Wilfork admitted that the coaching staff has taken a conservative approach in his return to the field ever since he limped off in a victory over the Panthers on Dec. 13.
"There's being smart and being stupid, and the one thing I didn't want to be is stupid," said Wilfork. "With the training staff and coaches, we made those decisions -- that it wasn't best for the team [for Wilfork to play]. Sometimes I don't like those decisions, I love to play, but like I said, you have to be smart about some things -- and that's one of them."
The Patriots will need Wilfork, who was voted a Pro Bowl starter, on Sunday against a Ravens squad that finished fifth in the NFL in rushing with 137.5 yards per game, running both Ray Rice and Willis McGahee behind a big and physical offensive line.
Wilfork said it doesn't matter how New England's defense looked Sunday during a fourth-quarter collapse against the Texans -- or any of the previous 15 games -- as a whole new season begins when the Ravens come to town.
"Defensively, we've done a real good job," said Wilfork. "We're playing good football. But what's done is done. We can't do anything about it now. It's a whole new season. That's how we think of it. It's all about Baltimore now. We can't get too caught up in what happened the past 16 weeks."
As for Sunday, Wilfork knows he can't be hesitant about his injured foot.
"It's going to be a tough one, a real physical game. Trust me," said Wilfork. "They're playing with high energy, we can see that in their game. They've got a big offensive line that's been mauling people. We know we're going to get their best."