Patriots receiver Demaryius Thomas: 'I still can go'

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As the regular season approaches, New England Patriots veteran receiver Demaryius Thomas is gearing up for his first action with Tom Brady.

Coming off a torn Achilles, Thomas hasn't participated in the Patriots' preseason tilts but finally returned to practice recently after beginning camp on the PUP list. The 31-year-old isn't fretting needing reps to be ready for the season.

"I still can go," Thomas said Sunday, via the Boston Globe. "I still can go. (Just have to) knock little rust off and keep building the days."

After six straight 900-yard-plus seasons (five over 1,000 yards), Thomas compiled 677 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games with the Broncos and Texans last year before suffering the injury.

Thomas noted he's feeling a "little rusty" but added the return from the Achilles tear won't be a "crazy challenge."

"I think it's a challenge of me just going out and continuing to do what I've been doing my whole career," Thomas said. "It's a tougher challenge because here, they expect more and it's a little different than where I've been, but I'll be all right."

Despite still being in recovery mode through the majority of camp, Thomas already outlasted Dontrelle Inman and Maurice Harris, both of whom have been released recently, in the Patriots' receiver corps. Thomas still has strides to make to prove he can play a role in New England's passing game, especially with the returns of Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman to the lineup.

If he's even a fraction of the playmaker he was early in his career with Peyton Manning, Tom Brady will certainly find a use for a veteran who theoretically can provide run-after-catch value and be a red-zone target.

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