Wilfork: 'I can’t leave the game like this'

January, 9, 2014
Jan 9
10:38
AM ET


Three takeaways from Wednesday night’s Vince Wilfork feature on “60 Minutes Sports” on Showtime:

• Coming back from his injury: Wilfork, who was lost for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon in Week 4, said he isn't sure how his body will respond when it’s time to start getting ready for football but is adamant he will do everything he can to return.

“I can’t tell you what the body’s going to tell me when I take the field,” Wilfork said in the piece. “Maybe the body is going to say, ‘You know what, Vince, it is enough.’ If it does that, I’m going to have to listen to my body. If it’s up to me, I’m playing. I can’t leave the game like this. I can’t.”

• Staying involved with the team: He approached coach Bill Belichick about traveling with the team and maintaining a presence in helping the team. According to Wilfork, Belichick said, "We would love that."

Here’s Wilfork on why that was important to him:

“Even though I’m not playing, I’ll go around the locker room and sit in on meetings,” he said. “They tell me all the time, ‘I’m glad to see you, I’m so happy you’re around.’ And I tell them, ‘No. I’m glad to see you guys. You just don’t understand what this means to me just to sit in on a meeting, just to watch film with the guys. That means a lot to me, because this is what I know.”

• Apologizing to Kraft after the injury: In the postgame locker room following the Patriots’ victory over the Falcons in Atlanta on Sept. 29 (the game in which Wilfork was injured), owner Robert Kraft recalled a conversation he had with Wilfork.

“I remember going into the locker room at the end of the game and going over to him, giving him a hug and a kiss, and he said, ‘Sorry, boss man. I'm sorry to let you down,’” Kraft said.

Kraft also called Wilfork the “heart and soul” of the Patriots.

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