Adrian Phillips was forced to leave the New England Patriots’ Week 13 game against the Buffalo Bills late, but it appears as if the veteran safety dodged a bullet. Speaking with reporters on Tuesday — in itself a positive sign — he pointed out that he did not suffer any severe injury versus the Bills.
“Everything checked out pretty well,” Phillips said when asked about the injury scare.
The 29-year-old hurt his knee in the fourth quarter against Buffalo while breaking up a pass intended for tight and Dawson Knox. Phillips did celebrate the play, but a short time later went down on the ground and had to be tended to by the Patriots’ training staff.
He was taken out of the game for the next snap — a fourth-down stop on a Myles Bryant pass breakup — and did not return.
“At the time I was like, ‘Oh crap,’” Phillips said. “I didn’t want to get hurt or anything like that. You don’t know how severe the injury is or whatever it may be. ... I just didn’t know what it was. Any time it’s something around the lower extremities, you’re a little more — not to say panicked — but you worry just a little more.”
While it remains to be seen how active Phillips will be in practice leading up to the Week 15 game versus the Indianapolis Colts, he appears to be trending in the right direction. That is obviously good news for himself and the Patriots.
Phillips, after all, has established himself a cornerstone of the team’s defensive backfield. Now in his second season in the system, the safety/linebacker hybrid has appeared in all 13 games and thus far has been on the field for 82 percent of New England’s defensive snaps. He also caught four interceptions — one of them returned for a touchdown — and forced a fumble.
His status for Saturday’s game in Indianapolis still remains somewhat unclear, but Phillips appears to be in a good mood while continuing to work towards a quick return.
“Just taking it day-by-day, working with the training staff, and go from there,” he said.