Junior Seau repeated this week that he would be willing to return to the Patriots as early as November, and the linebacker-thin Patriots are considering the possibility after putting Seau through a physical.
The physical came while Seau was in Boston this week to film an episode of his upcoming television show "Sports Jobs with Junior Seau," which was a pre-planned trip.
That the Patriots still have Seau on their radar is not surprising, given the mutual admiration between the sides and the team's lack of depth at linebacker.
Seau has said that he would only return to the NFL with the Patriots because of his relationship with coach Bill Belichick and the Kraft family. In an interview with ESPNBoston.com on Thursday, the 40-year-old Seau referred to the Patriots as "we" and "us."
In his brief stop in town, in which he was serving as an equipment manager with the NHL's Washington Capitals, Seau relayed that he heard support from fans who heard he was willing to return to the Patriots as early as November if they needed him.
"A lot of them tell me they are counting down the days," he said.
The Patriots have been hit hard by injuries at linebacker, forcing them to move away from their standard 3-4 alignment and play more 4-3 schemes. They lost third-round draft choice Tyrone McKenzie to a torn ACL in May, second-year player Shawn Crable (groin) was placed on season-ending injured reserve Sept. 5, and 2008 leading tackler Jerod Mayo has missed the last two games after spraining his right MCL in the season opener.
Seau returned to the Patriots last December when the team had a run of injuries at linebacker, and played in the final four games of the season, providing an emotional spark as the team strung together four straight wins before falling short of a playoff berth. If he returns, the 2009 season would mark his 20th in the NFL.
Mike Reiss is the Patriots blogger for ESPNBoston.com. You can reach Mike by leaving a message in his mailbag.