Vince Wilforkwas a happy man as he stood in front of his locker at the tail end of the media access period on Wednesday. While the fact that several reports have indicated the Pro Bowl nose tackle will not be suspended for an elbow to the head of Denver quarterback Jay Cutler, among other transgressions, his mood was no doubt lifted by what he termed a productive meeting with Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Wilfork met with Goodell earlier in the week and had a chance to offer his side of the events. The latest incident, which was not picked up by the national TV feed, involved Wilfork throwing an elbow in Cutler's direction and was shown by NFL Network. He was also assessed a pair of unnecessary roughness penalties for unrelated plays during the game. But Wilfork had nothing but good things to say about Goodell and his experiences at the meeting.
"I have no idea. I'm still waiting. I walked out pretty happy and satisfied with how it went," said Wilfork when asked if he would be fined. "The meeting was productive. I think both sides were happy. I got a chance for him to hear my side of my story and how I approach the game. I got a chance to hear what he had to say about the whole situation of my past history and playing football and all that good stuff. I think we both left pretty happy."
Wilfork said he didn't know when the commissioner would make a final ruling on the case but was more concerned with the opportunity he received.
"When you guys find out I'll find out. I mean it [was] very productive. [He] got a chance to get to know me as a person and as a player also, so we'll see," Wilfork said. "But at the same time I'm very happy that I got a chance to sit down and have a one-on-one with him. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of things he learned about me, and I learned about him. We'll go forward from here."
"I play hard, and that's one thing I stressed to him – I'm very passionate about the game," Wilfork added. "Sometimes it might be too hard, and I told him that. We'll go from here. I told him I'll try to change my style up a little bit, and hopefully, get a better slate. But right now, I got a pretty bad one out there. We hit some areas that needed to be touched on from his standpoint and my standpoint. We both listened to each other, and I think that was the main thing."
The Patriots practiced inside the Dana-Farber Field House in an effort to simulate the crowd noise inside the Colts brand new Lucas Oil Stadium. The team worked out in shells and shorts and had a welcomed addition to the group: running back LaMont Jordan.
Jordan hasn't played or practiced since Oct. 5 in San Francisco and has been listed as doubtful on the team's injury report in the two subsequent weeks. With Sammy Morris(knee) expected to be out of action for at least another week, Jordan's return would bolster a suddenly paper thin corps of running backs.
In Jordan and Morris' absence last week, the Patriots leaned heavily on Kevin Faulkboth as a ball carrier and receiver. The veteran came through with a big game, including the game-winning touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter. But with only BenJarvus Green-Ellisjoining Faulk as a true running back, the Patriots could use another weapon.
The Patriots did make one addition to their list of missing players at practice as cornerback Ellis Hobbs was not present for the media portion of the workout. Hobbs suffered a shoulder injury late in Sunday's win over the Rams but told reporters on Monday that he would be fine.
Hobbs was one of four players not sighted, joining cornerbackLewis Sanders, linebacker Shawn Crableand Morris.
Behind enemy lines
Colts coach Tony Dungyconducted his conference call with the New England media on Wednesday and was asked about the status of a pair of his standout players – running back Joseph Addaiand safety Bob Sanders.
"It looks like they are going to be able to play," Dungy said. "Addai, Sanders and [starting cornerbackKelvin] Hayden are all scheduled to practice today. They went through the morning walkthrough and did fine. If they have a good week of practice I think all three of them will play."
Sanders, the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, has not played since Week 2 as he recovers from knee surgery. Addai missed the Colts last two games with a hamstring problem while Hayden has been out since Week 5 at Houston as he works his way back from knee injury of his own.