Stephon Gilmore addresses absence, calling personal reason 'serious,' but now 'back happy'


Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore returned to practice Tuesday after missing a few days last week, which was an excused absence, according to Bill Belichick.

Speaking via video conference Wednesday, Gilmore did not want to get into the exact reason for the time missed, but did say it was "serious."

"Everything’s good," he said. "Had something come up that, you know, is personal reasons so I told coach about it and we’ll leave it at that."

Gilmore added: "Everybody goes through things in life. You know when it’s something serious, you don’t want it on your mind. Sometimes you’ve got to handle things. I was able to do that. Now I’m back, back happy and ready to take on each and every day getting better."

The reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year confirmed the absence was not at all related to his contract.

Despite being away from the team, Gilmore did what he could to stay up to speed.

"I still watched films of the practices, kept my head in it, I just had to handle something that was serious," he said. "I think I missed three practices and that’s a lot of practices, but I make sure that I had to take care of my business so my mind could be on football when I get back."

Gilmore leads the cornerback group, which is arguably the best position on the Patriots' entire roster.