Panthers' Stephon Gilmore Explains Calling Out Patriots Over Handling of Quad Injury

Doric SamDecember 7, 2021

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 21: Stephon Gilmore (9) corner back of Carolina during an NFL football game between the Washington Football Team and the Carolina Panthers on November 21, 2021, at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Carolina Panthers cornerback Stephon Gilmore stands by his decision to call out the New England Patriots over how his quad injury was handled while he was with the team.

In a recent interview with The Athletic's Joseph Person, Gilmore explained what specifically soured his relationship with the Patriots prior to him being traded to Carolina in October.

"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."

Gilmore continued, "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."

The Patriots placed Gilmore on the PUP list for training camp after he suffered a partially torn quad in Week 15 of last season. He sat out the first four games of the season and the Panthers acquired him in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round pick.

Gilmore made his Panthers debut in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons. In five games, he has nine total tackles and two interceptions, including a pick against the Patriots in his first game against his former team in Week 9.

When healthy, Gilmore is one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the league. The 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year said that he's more than satisfied with his situation in Carolina.

"I'm just happy everything—I feel like God puts you in position to be in a better place," Gilmore said. "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."

The Panthers will host the NFC South rival Atlanta Falcons in Week 14.