Patriots: Stephon Gilmore’s IG story indicates he’ll return Sunday

Patriots Defensive Player of the Year Stephon Gilmore is headed to Houston to play the Texans on Sunday. Phew.

Despite a surprisingly lackluster start to the season, this Patriots defense needs as many chess pieces as possible to keep up their high-wire act of a return to contention.

And chess pieces don’t get much better than the reigning Defensive Player of the Year.

Stephon Gilmore has missed the past three games with a knee injury, which may or may not have derailed the Pats’ trade deadline ambitions. But whether you believe his future will be elsewhere or not, there are certainly worse things than welcoming Gilmore back for the stretch run and knocking JC Jackson and Jonathan Jones down a peg.

Gilmore gave the game away himself on Saturday, Instagramming his packed bags in anticipation of helping the Patriots get back to .500 in Houston this weekend. Game on.

No more suspense here! Welcome to Houston.

It’s been a trying year for Gilmore, with the trouble peaking in Week 4 when he spiraled in the wake of Cam Newton’s positive coronavirus test, becoming the most prominent “close contact” to test positive himself after playing in that week’s game against the Chiefs. Tales of a potential dinner with Newton became swirling gossip, and Gilmore’s wife stepped in to defend him. Add the couple’s house hitting the market, and you’ve got a remarkable pileup of unfortunate news stories, all surrounding the same topic.

Needless to say, Gilmore’s knee injury arrived at an awful time for him personally, and he’s more than relieved to get a chance to pour himself back into the game this week.

The Patriots have a 2-7 Houston Texans team standing in the way of their ascendance back to .500 after dropping to 2-5 themselves, and Gilmore seems energized heading into the home stretch.

After an incredibly abnormal first half for all parties, it seems the Pats are all getting back into the swing of things together.