<
>

Brandon LaFell: No reason to worry about availability for game

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Given his importance to the New England Patriots’ offense this year, wide receiver Brandon LaFell was part of a hold-your-breath moment in the regular-season finale against the Bills on Dec. 28.

Playing into the fourth quarter, LaFell came up hobbling after making a 14-yard catch and remained on the sideline for nine snaps before returning for the final four of the contest. LaFell was then held out of the team’s two bye-week practices, and has been limited this week in practice while being classified with a toe injury.

For those wondering if the injury might keep LaFell out of Saturday’s divisional-round playoff game against the Ravens, he cleared up any doubt.

“I’m doing great, man. Rested my body up a little bit, and now it’s game week I’m ready to get out there and play and make plays,” he said.

Asked what he would say to anyone worried about his injury limiting his ability to make plays, LaFell responded, “They don’t need to hold their breath on me. I’m fine. But also, we have guys like Brian Tyms, Josh Boyce, Els [Julian Edelman] and DA [Danny Amendola] -- guys that have played ball around here for a long time and guys that can make plays. So there’s no need to worry about anything.”

One of the hot topics of discussion around the team has been the freezing cold weather the past few days, which has been a new experience for LaFell, who played in college at Louisiana State and then his first four seasons in the NFL with the Panthers.

“Never,” he said, when asked if he’s ever experienced such cold. “I’ve never felt this way. I’ve never looked at the weather, and it had one digit on there. I’ve never seen anything like it. Everybody says this is football weather up here, so let’s go play.”

In training camp, LaFell had mentioned that he appreciated the New England weather when compared to past, humid training camps with the Panthers.

“You have to give something to lose something. I gave up the hot days in camp in Carolina for the cool days up here. Now I have this cold, harsh winter, and it’s a little bit warmer in Carolina,” he said smiling. “But we’re still playing ball and I can’t complain about that.”