Patriots' Gilmore pushes back on trade rumors

4:21 PM ET

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the NFL’s reigning defensive player of the year, hinted that he will be returning from a three-game absence Sunday against the Houston Texans.

Gilmore, who a source said was involved in a collision in practice on Oct. 29, has been listed with a knee injury ever since, and he’s officially listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against Houston.

The timing of the injury, with the trade deadline just a few days later, had sparked speculation that perhaps there was more to Gilmore’s absence than just a physical ailment.

In his first remarks to reporters in about a month, Gilmore pushed back on that.

“I wasn’t physically ready to play these last couple of weeks. Things happen. You have to adjust to it,” Gilmore said. “Nothing would keep me off the field from playing with my teammates. That is one thing that stuck with me.”

He added later: “You really appreciate being out there with your teammates, so that’s one thing I thought about these last couple weeks. I’m happy that I’m back healthy and looking forward to this week.”

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