Football players aplenty are raring to get back on to the field.
For the New England Patriots' newest wide receiver Marqise Lee, there might well be a little more anticipation as he's played in just six games over the last two seasons -- he missed all of 2018 and played in only six games (with one start) in 2019.
Lee was somewhat surprisingly released by the Jaguars and is now a Patriot waiting to get back on the field and re-start his career.
"It's been quite difficult with the knee injury and coming back with the shoulder injury," Lee told reporters on Wednesday, via team transcript. "It's been difficult, but it's been a task in which I've quite enjoyed as far as knowing myself. After these certain injuries, you've got some people who get down on themselves and tend to want to shut it down. For me, it's kind of like a motivating factor. I just want to see where I'm at at this point. It will be good to get out there and play football, which I feel like I haven't played in the last couple years. I'm just ready to get at it. "
Lee's 2019 season was cut to six games and a season-ending trip to injured reserve due to a shoulder injury.
In 2016, the now-28-year-old Lee showcased his ability and potential with a 63-catch, 851-yard season. That's the high point. Last year, he had just three receptions for 18 yards in those six games.
Going forward, Lee offered no individual aspirations, but an onus on contributing as a team-first guy -- very much the Patriot Way.
"I'm the type of person, just try to get everything in which the team needs me to do," Lee said. "I'm never going to be specific like, 'I just want to play this, that and the other.' No, whatever they need me to do at the end of the day is what I'm willing to do, regardless of what it is. That's my main focus."
After his six seasons (including missing all of 2018) in Duval, Lee wound up in New England looking to move forward, but get back to his former self.
"For me, my biggest thing was I just knew the last couple years I didn't really have the opportunity to go out there and do the things I felt like I needed to do as a player," Lee said. "I felt like me choosing New England, just to go there as far as this season was in the sense of just trying to get back to myself. I felt like which place is the perfect place to get back and try to get back to yourself rather than New England – very strict, basically just all about football and handling your business. So, I feel like I was a little bit off on that point with these last two injuries I had, so I just wanted to get back right on track, get everything back on point, and I felt like New England is the right place for me."
It's been a big if, but if Lee can stay healthy, perhaps New England will be the right place for him -- and Lee will be the right addition for the Patriots.