Everyone remembers the brutal injury that knocked Malcolm Mitchell out of the first preseason game of the year against the Saints, so in the interest of keeping everyone’s lunch inside their stomachs, we won’t go over that again. Just hearing that the kid wasn’t done for the year was enough relief for pretty much everyone.
And then word came out today that Mitchell and Rob Ninkovich were both full participants in practice. Who do those two think they are, Deadpool?
Patriots Football Weekly’s Eric Scalvino caught up with Malcolm to see how he was coming along – after all, it was just three weeks ago that he hurt himself. Here’s what Mitchell had to say today:
"When I felt it," Mitchell recalled Tuesday, "I thought something just popped right there. I didn’t even think about it. I was going to be fine.
"When I saw a picture of it," he added with a chuckle, "I said, ‘OK, I understand everyone’s reaction.’ Actually, I’m not weak-stomached or anything like that. It was fine."
Scalvino noted that Mitchell’s been wearing a protective brace on his arm to make sure the injury doesn’t get aggravated accidentally. Gronk must be proud.
Participating in practice is great, and it sounds like he’s got a good handle on the "It is what it is" approach to rehab. More from Scalvino and PFW:
"I’m not a big fan of hesitating or letting something slow me down. An injury is an injury. You just deal with it," he stated matter-of-factly. "I think it’s worse if you think about it too much. Obviously, you have to be smart about it, but at some point you’ve just got to let it go and just play. Yeah, I’m trying to get ready for my next opportunity to go.
"This is a sport where injuries happen all the time. Something’s going to happen [to you] eventually. So, you just take it and have to deal with it. To get frustrated over something I have no control over would be stressful, and that’s unnecessary stress. It can’t help me, it can only hurt me."
And he’s certainly not bummed out about getting the chance to watch his team and cram as much knowledge as he can:
"It’s helpful, very beneficial to take it all in. if you can’t go out there and do everything, watching it and taking it in mentally is the next-best thing. Me coming in every day doing the best I can, that hasn’t stopped. Regardless of whether it’s in the training room, the meeting rooms, or when I’m out there on the field.
"While they’re playing, I’m a fan at that point," he acknowledged. "Obviously, I have a different perspective because I can see stuff on the screen and know what’s about to happen. That’s my main focus, to cheer them on. When I’m watching them play, I’m not dissecting the play. If someone catches a pass, I’m cheering for them. Maybe when we come back in and watch film as a team, but while I’m watching them play – like in Carolina – I’m not dissecting it as the game’s going on."
"You come in eager to learn, eager to play, eager to prove yourself, and then… you just have to be patient and wait for the time to be able to do that again."
The soonest Malcolm might be able to come back was projected at four weeks, which puts him at possibly available for the first or second game of the season. And with the way Jimmy Garoppolo and Mitchell were clicking in the Saints game, Jimmy G and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels are surely stoked that Malcolm may be able to play this season after all.
Hey, now the offense can yell "MALCOLM, GO!" too. It’s only fair.