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Pats' Winslow wills self to play through pain

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Updated: September 20, 2012, 3:44 PM ET

By Field Yates | Special to ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- New Patriots tight end Kellen Winslow, who has reportedly been dealing with right knee issues recently, says that he plays in a lot of pain, but added that "it doesn't matter."

[+] EnlargeKellen Winslow

Mike Reiss/ESPNBoston.comKellen Winslow said Thursday that he won't let pain keep him off the football field.

Winslow also says that he feels he has something to prove to those who question his ability to stay healthy.

Despite his recent issues with his health, Winslow has played in every game during his past three seasons, spent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and in 90 of 96 overall games since 2006.

He attributes his ability to play through the pain to his will.

"I would say will, man. Overcome," he told reporters on Thursday morning. "This is my dream to play."

When asked how he feels currently, Winslow stated that he's focused on not missing games on the field.

"There is a question every year," Winslow said of his health. "The thing I concentrate on is not missing games, because then there is nothing held against me."

The history of right knee troubles for Winslow dates back to a 2005 motorcycle accident prior to his second NFL season, which resulted in a torn ACL and subsequent staph infection that cost him the entire season.

In March of 2007, Winslow underwent follow-up microfracture surgery on the knee, but was still active and on the field for every game that season, during which he earned his lone Pro Bowl trip in his career.

Earlier this month, Winslow visited the Patriots in what he described as "just a meeting," (he did not work out for the team), and ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that he underwent and passed a physical administered by the team.

With no indications that health will hold him back from being on the field (he joined his new team for practice on Wednesday), it appears that Winslow could be ready to play for the team when it travels on Sunday night to face the Baltimore Ravens.

When asked whether that was a possibility, Winslow left the door open.

"We'll see. It's just my job to make plays when it comes to me and I have to get the offense down, so I have a lot of work to do," he said.

Field Yates is a regular contributor to ESPNBoston.com.