“I do what I’ve been doing for 11 years -- go out there like I’m playing in 80 degrees,” Wilfork said. “I’m a big believer in, ‘I’m not playing the weather,’ so I’m not going to switch my routine up just because of what’s going on outside. Deal with it.”
Temperatures have been dropping throughout the week in Foxborough and are expected to be in the teens for Saturday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Ravens.
“I think at that point in the game, I don’t care if it’s minus-2 or 98, you have to be able to play that football game, and the more you can just focus on your opponent and everything else just block it out, the better you’ll be, the more successful you’ll be,” Wilfork said. “I’m not going to change much going into this game.”
Wilfork plans to go out Saturday without sleeves, just like any other game he's played in. He can’t think of any time he has regretted not wearing a long-sleeve shirt.
“No, never, never,” Wilfork said. “I’ll tell you what, when it gets close to the end of the game, I’m ready to get inside. I won’t lie about that.
“But during the course of the game, with the heated benches, going on and off the field and moving around, as a player you really don’t feel that coldness. You’ll be so focused, you’ll be so pumped up, and by the time you get a chance to feel it, you’re on the sidelines sitting on heated benches. For me, it’s never a problem, and I’m not trying to make it a problem.”
For linebacker Dont'a Hightower, the decision to wear sleeves or not wear sleeves is a different story.
“I’m not that guy,” Hightower said. “I’ve learned my lesson in the past, and I’m definitely not trying to be a tough guy when it comes to [running around with no sleeves]. Whatever way I play more comfortable, which would be the sleeves, so I’m going to rock the sleeves.”
Hightower may have found a compromise between the sleeves or no-sleeves debate: half sleeves.
“I kind of roll [my sleeves] up, just to see how I feel in warmups, and then after that, if I need to go thicker, then I’ll go thicker,” Hightower said. “But most of the time, I just wear half sleeves. That will probably be what I do.”
Now, the only question that remains is whether Patriots coach Bill Belichick will be wearing sleeves or his traditional cut-off sleeves.