It's looking more and more like Harvey Langi will make his first appearance in a meaningful Patriots game this weekend. The rookie pass rusher was inactive in the opener versus Kansas City due to a concussion, which may have contributed to safety Jordan Richards being asked to play linebacker in that contest.
Langi was removed from this week's injury report and participated fully in all three practices. He spoke about his health status with reporters Friday afternoon.
"I feel great. It sucks sitting back, recovering, just being on the sideline, looking out and seeing everyone else work. Everyone hates it, but things happen. You have to bounce back. So, it's good to be back.
"It's a day-to-day thing for me," added Langi. "Got to go out there and play wherever they tell me to play. If it's [defensive] end, if it's outside [linebacker], if it's on kickoff, kickoff return… whatever it is. I'm wanting to help out the team and do whatever I can to do that, to bring some urgency to practices."
That urgency is especially important this week considering that linebacker/co-captain Dont'a Hightower (right knee) did not practice at all and is likely going to miss the Saints game. Langi says he's anxious and ready to play a potentially vital role against the potent New Orleans offense. Though he's only seen Drew Brees and Co. heretofore on television, game film, and video games, Langi promises he won't be star-struck.
"My gosh, these guys are a good offense. They have a lot of good players, and it's going to be exciting to play them. I'm going to try to act like I've been there, even though I haven't. Show no fear, go in there focused.
"I'm a defensive player. I'm supposed to tackle anybody holding the pigskin. If [Brees] is holding the pigskin and I tackle him holding it, that'll be one for the books for me. That would be cool.
In addition to Hightower, wide receiver Danny Amendola (concussion/knee) and special teams co-captain Matthew Slater (hamstring) were held out of their third straight practice session and are expected to stay in New England during the New Orleans trip. Amendola continues to appear in the locker room, but has yet to comment to reporters on the record.
Meanwhile, defensive tackle Vincent Valentine (left knee) appeared to suffer a setback. After returning to practice on Thursday in a limited capacity, he wasn't seen on the field Friday. His availability for Sunday remains in doubt.