While the roster news on Monday included defensive end Drake Nevis and Jerraud Powers being placed injured reserve, there was some good behind those significant defensive losses.
Rookie nose tackle Josh Chapman was bumped up to the active roster following practicing with the team for the past three weeks.
After finally putting on pads in the NFL for the first time in late October, Chapman is now prepared to hit somebody other than his teammates.
“I’ve been ready to get back in there and I feel like my mind is ready to get back there,” Chapman said. “I’ve been testing (the knee) in practice and now I’m ready to test it in a game.”
Chapman tore his ACL 13 months ago but elected not to have surgery until completing his senior season at the University of Alabama.
Upon capturing his second National Title in three seasons, Chapman had surgery on his knee and it has been a trying offseason filled with mental reps.
Learning to play on two legs again for Chapman is an ever-going process, one he hopes will continue this weekend.
“I’m very, very anxious but at the same time you can’t let anxious get in the way,” the rookie nose tackle said.
“My confidence is there now it’s just about going out and testing this thing now. The way I see it is don’t hold back and just be relaxed. Keep your mind off your knee and just go play ball, back to what I love to do.”
His NFL debut might have come later than he wanted but then again not many players can say they have the chance to play their first game against Tom Brady.
“It will be really fun,” Chapman said “Watching (Brady) as a young kid, this is what you dream of playing on the big stage.”
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