FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Cornerback Brandon Browner is itching to play his first regular-season game in a Patriots jersey. And he says he will get that chance on Thursday night against the Jets.
“Yeah, I’m itching,” Browner said as he addressed the media for the first time since returning from his suspension. “Just like anybody else who has been held out or is hurt. I’m itching to get out there but I’m taking it a day at a time trying to get better as best as I can.”
Browner was activated on Oct. 6 after serving a four-game suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy and being inactive against Cincinnati. Due to the conditions of his suspension, Browner was able to remain at team facilities, though he could not practice with the team.
“I was able to stay here during the terms of my suspension -- it wasn’t PED, it was substance abuse -- so I was able to stay here for the meetings, work out, do everything except practicing and play,” Browner said. “So I have been a part of this [team] this whole time.”
Despite Browner’s activation, he was unable to play on Sunday against the Bills as he has been battling an ankle injury. Browner remains a limited participant at practice, but assured reporters that his ankle injury is a non-issue.
“It’s a lot better,” Browner said. “I feel like I am good to go.”
Between his suspension, inactive status against Cincinnati and missing the game against Buffalo with his ankle injury, Browner has now missed six weeks of the NFL season. But he has tried to make use of the extra time by studying and slowing things down so he is best prepared for his first game with the Patriots.
“That’s kind of what I tried to do,” Browner said. “But, it’s hard to get ready for a game other than being out there. But I watch it as much as I can and try to take as much information as I can, that way when I get out there I can play faster.
“You never can prepare for those live bullets until you are out there. Playbook and film, you can do that all you want until you get out there, and conditioning and you get hit and all those things that are added into the game once you get out there,” he said.
Browner was asked if it is tough to be an onlooker rather than a player.
“Sometimes it gets tough, but this is our job,” Browner said. “You love what you do. You get up and look forward to going to work.”
Browner said he isn't looking to do too much right way. As a veteran, he carries himself with confidence and is using his experience to play as a part of the defense.
“You just play the defense and let the chips fall where they may, and I think we have a good enough team that if we just play the defense, things should play out how you want them to,” he said.
“I’m excited to get back out there. I’m fortunate to be able to go play against a divisional opponent.”