Earl Wolff was a full participant Sunday after sitting out team drills the previous two sessions with a sore knee. Wolff strongly hinted afterwards that it was the same right knee that sidelined him down the stretch last season.
“It was a little sore but it feels a whole lot better. I might be on a little bit of treatment. I’m feeling good, though,” said Wolff.
The second-year safety is confident that this won’t be a lingering issue.
There was some cloudiness last season when it came to Wolff’s hyperextended knee and whether he and the training staff were on the same page. There were rumblings late in the season that Wolff had been given the green light for a return but decided to hold himself out.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say it was that. It might have been something similar to that,” Wolff said back in early January. “And it wasn’t that I didn’t want to play, I just felt like if I would have went out there, I wouldn’t have been able to play my game.”
Chip Kelly sounded like he was expecting Wolff to practice in full on Friday when he last addressed the media, but that turned out not to be the case. Prior to Sunday’s practice, Kelly phrased it this way:
“He has a sore knee. He’s supposed to go full today, so we’ll see. It’s his call. He’s going to tell you how good he feels but according to the trainers he is full-go today, so we’ll see how he goes,” said Kelly.
Wolff ended up practicing and running with the first team opposite Malcolm Jenkins.
“My thing is, if I can go, I’ll go. I need that full range of motion because all I know is one speed,” Wolff said after practice Sunday. “I don’t know how to play slow, that’s not how I play. I play full speed all the time. If I can’t play that game I really can’t play because I don’t know how to play [that way].”
Wolff made it clear that he doesn’t feel like he needs to be 100 percent to practice or play, and rattled off the number of injuries that he has played through dating all the way back to the eighth grade.
“Something has happened every year. It’s not like I’m not used to playing hurt. I played with a torn shoulder my whole sophomore year in college from the second year on,” he said. “I know how it feels to play with an injury, but I just feel like with the legs it’s kind of different.”
Have there been instances when the training staff has given you the go-ahead and you have held yourself out?
“I feel like if I can’t help my team as much as I think I can, I don’t need to be out there because I feel like I’m hurting the team more than I’m helping,” he responded. “And that’s not what I want to do.”
Williams Sits Out
Cary Williams did not take part in team drills Sunday. He was vague as to why initially, but later told reporters that Kelly gave him the day off because of general soreness.
So nothing to do with Patriots comments?
“No, it had nothing to do with that. I haven’t even discussed anything with Chip. I don’t think he’s shown any type of agreement or disagreement with what I said. I’m sure maybe we’ll have a conversation, but I don’t know,” he said.
Kelly was asked about Williams’ recent remarks about his dislike for the Patriots and joint practices.
“I appreciate Cary’s input but I think the value you can get for every single player and every single coach in terms of what we’re doing, to get a chance to go against another scheme and another team, I think it’s really beneficial as long as you and tne other team are on the same page, and I think it worked really well for us last year.”
Kelly said he is not concerned about the Patriots gaining any extra intel that would serve them well should they somehow face one another in the Super Bowl.
Riley Cooper (foot), Jeff Maehl (ankle) and Chris Polk (hamstring) also sat out.
Approximately 25,000 fans were in attendance for Sunday’s practice at Lincoln Financial Field. Just under 15,000 showed up for the first open session on Monday. The final open practice of training camp will be held on August 10 at Franklin Field.