Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/1/12
FOXBORO, Mass. -- Steve Gregory hasn't been on the field for the Patriots since injuring his hip in a Week 4 win in Buffalo. It just so happens that as the Bills enter New England for the second of two meetings this season, Gregory may be ready to make his return. The Patriots starting safety has been sidelined with the injury for four weeks now. With the bye week he may finally have enough time to return to full strength and hopefully a thinning Patriots secondary. Gregory returned to practice for the first time in a few weeks on Thursday, and explained that he is making a lot of progress. "I'm feeling good. I'm getting better every day," Gregory said. "Just putting in work and getting better." Missing so much time has been tough on the seven-year veteran. He's frustrated that he hasn't been able to contribute on the field, but that's also made him so much more determined to get back quickly. "I'm caught up on everything we've been doing game plan wise, the only thing is I haven't been out there," Gregory said. "It's real hard, as a competitor, as a guy who wants to contribute and be a part of the team, it's hard." With so many players planning trips home or on short vacations during the bye week, Gregory will be sticking around Foxboro. It's not that he doesn't want to take some time off, but he knows he needs to make up for lost time. "I'll be in [the facility] working out and trying to get better. So, it will be a little bit different bye week for me," Gregory said. "But I haven't been playing for a few weeks now. So, I haven't really had the toll on my body these guys have been having." Gregory's determination, as well as his return to the practice field, is a good indication of his progress. But personal confirmation is an even better source of his status. When asked if he thinks he'll be ready to go against the Bills come next Sunday afternoon? Gregory responded, "I'm hoping so, yes." That's a promising sign for a secondary desperately in need of as much depth as they can get, especially with Sterling Moore now exiled from the roster. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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