Jul 24, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork (75) talks to the media following training camp at the team practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots' Vince Wilfork practicing without restriction

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Back in March, it looked like defensive lineman Vince Wilfork had played his last game as a member of the New England Patriots. Back in March, a report surfaced that veteran defensive lineman Vince Wilfork asked the New England Patriots for his release (Wilfork even supposedly cleaned out his locker). The Patriots eventually restructured and extended Wilfork’s contract, keeping the big man around for three more seasons.

Of course, Wilfork has other problems he was limited to just four games last season because of a torn Achilles. Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston spoke to Wilfork and the veteran is practicing without restriction.

Wilfork, who appears to have shed weight, was a full participant for the complete non-pads practice.

“If I had limitations, I wouldn’t be practicing. Right now, I’m on the field and I’m healthy,” Wilfork said after the two-hour session. “I’m pretty sure there’s going to still be some stuff that I may need to do, so ‘so far, so good.’ I’m not looking back. I’m looking forward.”

It’s a credit to Wilfork that he’s made it to this point. As he pointed out in June, the stats aren’t favorable for 325-pound defensive tackles coming off such a serious injury, but the rock in the middle of the Patriots’ defense never doubted himself. The next step will be absorbing contact for the first time, as the team’s first full-pads practice is scheduled for Saturday

They have been aggressive in free agency, signing former New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ cornerback Darrelle Revis, former Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Brandon Browner and former Carolina Panthers’ wide receiver Brandon LaFell. Plus, they re-signed their leading receiver, Julian Edelman. The defensive upgrades could help give the Patriots the defense they need to add a fourth Super Bowl ring.

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