While he didn't receive nearly the attention for his declaration as Rob Gronkowski did, Sealver Siliga told reporters that he was physically ready to go for Sunday's opener in Miami.
Siliga has been sidelined since early August after suffering a wrist/hand injury in Richmond, Va., during joint practices with the Redskins. Siliga was seen wearing a cast on his left hand and hasn't played in a game since, but the defensive tackle appears poised to return after telling reporters he's ready to play Sunday.
Shortly after Siliga said he was ready to go, Gronkowski informed a huge throng of reporters that he was indeed playing against the Dolphins. Funny how All-Pro tight ends get all the attention over lunch pail nose tackles.
Both Siliga and Chris Jones (ankle) have battled injuries during the preseason, which might explain the Patriots two waiver claims on Sunday. The team added former Giants defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles (6-4, 294) and former Cardinals defensive tackle Bruce Gaston (6-2, 310), adding some depth to the defensive front.
One or both might represent insurance, however. Assuming Siliga and Jones are healthy, having seven interior defensive linemen (Vince Wilfork, Dominique Easley, Joe Vellano) would seem to be more than enough.
Siliga isn't taking anything for granted, though, telling reporters he "never wants to feel comfortable" with his spot on the roster.
"I believe in whatever coach believes. He gave me this opportunity last year and he really is the big reason why last year turned out for me," Siliga said. "Whatever he wants me to do I want to make sure I go out there and give it 100 percent because without him I wouldn't have done what I did last season."
Siliga, Jones and Vellano all played big roles as inexperienced players last year, and even though each has a year in Foxborough under his belt, Siliga says they still look in one direction when it comes to leadership.
"We all lean on Vince the most because Vince is Vince," he said. "We just follow his example because he goes out there and works his butt off every day. With all the stuff he's been through, we just follow behind him. We help each other take another step from what we did last year."