Stephon Gilmore explains how Patriots mishandled his injury this offseason

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When Stephon Gilmore spoke to the New England media ahead of the Panthers' game against the Patriots in early November, he said his former team "mishandled" his injury -- a torn quad -- which he then had surgery on last December.

When asked to clarify what he meant, Gilmore said he did not want to get into it.

Well, now he has.

Gilmore opened up to The Athletic's Joe Person on what happened in New England from his perspective.

"When you return to play, you want to rehab back to return to play," he said. "But I felt like they were doing more workouts than rehab, more working out like someone (who) was 100 percent healthy and in the offseason program. But I was rehabbing, coming back from surgery. So that’s different. I think you should take steps to come back and play.

"It was just making me do all types of running and lifting way more than I was supposed to. I’m just happy everything — I feel like God puts you in position to be in a better place. They handled it right here, and I’m on the right track. I feel good — better and better every week. And I feel more confident."

Clearly, Gilmore believes the Patriots pushed him harder than he thought they should have.

"I didn’t show up there over the summer, so I was on the right track," he said. "And then I show up there and start on all the unnecessary stuff. Like, right before I got traded, I ran like 3,000 yards in three days. Like a real workout. It’s like, why would you do all that right before you trade me? You don’t do that. Let me do it my way. I don’t know if they were trying to test (the leg) and see, I don’t know. I’m not the type of guy that says, ‘Oh, I don’t want to do that.’ I work hard. I do my stuff. I just think that wasn’t right."

Gilmore was traded to the Panthers in October and since being traded to Carolina, he has played 126 defensive snaps in five games.

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