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Patriots' Samuel expected to play Sunday against Jets

NFL Network's Adam Schefter is reporting that cornerback Asante Samuel is expected to play in the Patriots' season-opener against the Jets on Sunday.

Having missed all four preseason games because of a contract dispute, Samuel wasn't sure where he stood on New England's depth chart -- or whether he would even play Sunday.

"I guess we'll have to wait and see on Sunday," Samuel said Friday. "I'm just going out and practicing and working hard."

Samuel has been playing catch up since ending his contract stalemate on Aug. 28, a month and a day after the Patriots began training camp. Samuel had stayed away in protest after the Patriots designated him their franchise player and the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a long-term contract.

Samuel worked out on his own during his holdout, but knows that isn't the same as going through training camp.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said it would be "totally unrealistic" to expect Samuel to have the same level of conditioning as his teammates.

To make room for Samuel on the roster, the Patriots cut veteran cornerback Tory James.

Samuel had a career-high 10 interceptions last season, tying Denver's Champ Bailey for the NFL lead. He also clinched last year's 37-16 playoff win against the Jets by intercepting Chad Pennington and returning the ball 36 yards for a touchdown to complete the scoring.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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