Bodden works through thumb injury
September, 9, 2011
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- For three weeks, veteran cornerback Leigh Bodden kept a low profile around reporters. After injuring his right thumb in the second preseason game at Tampa Bay, he didn't play again, and only returned to practice this week.
Elsa/Getty ImagesLeigh Bodden said he's ready despite a thumb injury.
Bodden answered questions from reporters Friday for the first time since the injury, wearing a white protective cast over his right thumb that extended to his wrist.
"I can do everything a football player needs to do to get ready for a football game," Bodden said when asked about how the injury affected his conditioning.
Bodden, the team's starter on the right side, got off to a strong start in training camp as he returned from a torn rotator cuff that sidelined him all of 2010. He was consistently around the ball and looked like he was returning to 2009-like form when he led the team with 17 passes defended.
How much did the injury set him back?
"Things like that happen, but all I can do is look forward and look to do what I have to do when I get on the field," he answered. "When I get on the field, I plan to be the player I am."
If Bodden returns to his 2009 form, the Patriots have the potential for one of the NFL's better 1-2 combinations with Bodden on the right side and budding star Devin McCourty (5-10, 193) on the left.
Until this year, the 6-foot-1, 193-pound Bodden stood out among his fellow cornerbacks as the biggest player of the group. But that has changed with the additions of rookie Ras-I Dowling (6-1, 198) and fourth-year player Antwaun Molden (6-1, 198).
"I guess that's what the coaches want -- big guys, physical guys," Bodden said. "Everybody's talented, everybody's talented in their own ways. We bring a lot to the table and we just have to continue to progress and put it out on the field Monday night."