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New England Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, right, tackles Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap after a catch in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Arizona Cardinals tight end Todd Heap has played in just 12 of a possible 24 games with the Arizona Cardinals, including just two this season.

The 32-year-old has been sidelined since the team's Week 2 win over New England with a knee injury, and there's little doubt Heap would like to get back on the field.

Until then, though, the veteran will be subject to all that comes with an injury, including frustration from being unable to help the team.

Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett voiced his displeasure after Monday's loss, saying his coach "called out some guys in the training room that we need on the field. We need them."

Heap might be one of those guys, and he responded to his teammates comments as a guest of Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo Tuesday.

"I don't know exactly who those comments are directed at," Heap said. "If they were directed at me, I hope he would come and talk to me."

No one is saying Dockett was referring to Heap, and there's little question the tight end would like to get back on the field. However, he said there is a difference between being injured and being in pain, and that "playing through pain is not an issue."

"Now when there's an involuntary thing that happens that you can't play through, that's a different story," Heap said. "I don't think the whole training room or locker room deal is an issue with our team right now, I think it's more of guys just need to get out and do their job."

Heap said besides being able to play through pain, much of the decision to get back on the field is determined by how effective he'd be. As of now, he thinks he'd do more harm than good if he tried to tough it out and play.

"If I'm out there I want to be helping the team and not putting myself at risk at the same time," he said. "Does it help to go out and limp off the field every other play?

"I don't think that's going to help our team right now."

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