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Jerod Mayo doesn’t know how his repaired pectoral muscle will handle rigors of an NFL return

05.06.14 at 3:57 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Jerod Mayo wants to believe he’ll be ready for the Patriots’ 2014 season but the truth is, he just isn’t sure.

Mayo tore his pectoral muscle in the miraculous 30-27 win over the Saints on Oct. 20. He had surgery shortly thereafter and had to watch in utter frustration as his team reached the AFC championship in Denver before falling to Peyton Manning and the Broncos.

“I don’€™t know how it will feel when we start going out there doing different things as far as a little bit of contact drills,” Mayo told reporters inside Gillette Stadium Tuesday, where he took a break from the offseason conditioning program. “Even though there are no pads, you can still fall a certain way, so I’€™m just going to take it one day at a time and see how it goes.”

“I think every day, I feel like I’€™m getting stronger, getting better,” Mayo said. “But once again, I won’€™t know until I get out there and start really playing the game of football. If it was flag football, it’€™d be cool.”

The real test, of course, will come when the Patriots finally begin football activities, like hitting, which isn’t allowed until training camp opens on July 23.

“OTAs, mini-camp, training camp, preseason games, it’s all a step-by-step process,” Mayo added. “All different milestones you have to get to to really gain that confidence after the injury. For now, it’s just about taking it one day at a time.”

The way last season ended provides more than enough motivation for Mayo to get back on the field as he had to watch the rest of the season with fellow injured Patriots Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly.

“It’s hard to sit in a room with other injured teammates and watch as the team battles,” Mayo said.

Mayo confirmed he has been working out at Gillette Stadium for a while, extending well beyond the team’s three weeks of the offseason program, so he feels pretty good after tearing his pectoral muscle last October.

Read More: Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots, nfl, torn pectoral
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