Patriots

Martellus Bennett blasts Packers and team doc on Instagram

Martellus Bennett blasts Packers and team doc on Instagram

Martellus Bennett returned to the Patriots and was back on the practice field Friday then blasted the Green Bay Packers and their team doctor, Dr. Pat McKenzie, on Instagram.

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Bennett, released by the Packers with a "failure to disclose an injury" designation, reportedly has a torn rotator cuff. He said in an Instagram story that the Packers were trying to force him to "play thru a major injury."

Here is a transcript of what Bennett wrote, with the expletives edited:

"The Packers examined my shoulder March 10 and cleared it. They even gave me an xray as well. It got worse during the season, specifically against the cowboys so I asked to have it checked and we checked it. After a few days of contemplating to play with it or get surgery, I chose surgery. Now here we are ...

"They tried to f--- over me. Dr. McKenzie trying to cover his own a--. After trying to persuade me to play thru a major injury and me choosing to get surgery.

"They have access to all my medical records. My shoulder wasn't what it is now at the beginning of the season. I f---ed it playing for the @packers.

"Dr McKenzie didn't make me feel safe and was pushing to play which I thought was weird.  Not that he was getting me to try and play thru but the way he was saying things. I didn't trust him. So I got 3 other opinions from doctors who all said I need to get it fixed. So I decided to do that. And they decided to waive me with some bull---t excuse. Failure disclose. 

"Every week we do a body evaluation sheet in the weight and pretty much every week I circled my shoulder. I just kept playing but it got worse.

"During the bye week I got off anti inflammatories to clean my system and could really feel the pain. So I asked to examine it first day back in. And that's when we found out it was really f---ed up.

They knew.

“They panicked. Thinking that I was trying to go on IR and be on their books next year. When I mentioned that I would possibly retire. So they tried to f— me before they thought I would f— them. This was all about money. All about money. I get it. But don’t lie homie. You knew wtf was up. C.R.E.A.M. [cash rules everything around me].

“I had intentions of playing all 8 games as I mentioned in the post during the bye week, but found out it was worse than I felt after getting it checked out. Now I’m like f— it. I chose my health over the ‘team’. They chose money over me.”

The Patriots' only healthy QB offers little insight on Brady injury

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The Patriots' only healthy QB offers little insight on Brady injury

FOXBORO -- Brian Hoyer did his best Sgt, Schultz impression Thursday afternoon.

He saw nothing, he knows nothing and, had we asked him, Hoyer probably would have denied even Tom Brady’s existence. The Patriots backup quarterback has been thrust into the spotlight because of the right-hand injury Brady suffered in practice Wednesday. Though Brady appeared at the media access portion of today’s session, the team listed him on the injury report as not having participated. That would mean Hoyer -  as the team’s only healthy signal caller - had to get more reps than usual, right? 

“Define what is usual,” he said. “Since I’ve been here there’s been days where I’ve taken a lot of reps and days where I’ve taken any. I just do what’s asked of me.”

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So, you were asked to do more today?

“You’ll have to check the injury report. I don’t know if they put that on there or not.”

Okay then. This was just the beginning of a question-and-answer session that provided many of the former and almost none of the latter. Hoyer said he “wasn’t there” when the injury happened. When asked if Brady threw any passes today, the normally genial Hoyer paused before saying tersely, “you have to ask somebody else that question. I’m not going to answer that question.”

There were also a couple of “I’m not going to speak for him” or “you have to ask him” responses. Not unexpected given the nature of the queries but also handled better by every player we spoke to today, from Trey Flowers saying he’s not a hand doctor to James White joking the world will never know how Brady was injured to Kyle Van Noy saying of Brady: “He always looks good. He’s handsome”.

What Hoyer did have a good handle on was what he needs to do to be ready if his number does get called Sunday in the AFC Championship Game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.  

“I prepare every week like I’m going to play,” he said. “Whether I do or don’t...that’s not really up to me. I did the one thing I can benefit from since I was the backup here - I played a lot of football. I’ve been a starter for three different teams. I know how to prepare as a starter. Whether I’m given those reps or not, each rep I’m not getting I take as a mental rep. I stand back there and I go through and I try to think who I’d go to, who would I’d make the Mike [middle linebacker] on this play. Whether I’m getting the reps or not I’m always preparing to play because you never know when your name is going to be called.”

The Patriots hope it doesn’t come to that. Hell, maybe even Hoyer hopes it doesn’t come to that.

“If I don’t play, that’s good for our team.”

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Brady injury has moved Patriots-Jaguars line 1.5 points

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Brady injury has moved Patriots-Jaguars line 1.5 points

FOXBORO -- You would have to be either supremely confident or supremely behind on current events to place a bet on the Patriots in this weekend's AFC title game. 

Tom Brady suffered a hand injury in Wednesday's practice and he was held out of Thursday's session (for all but the stretching portion), leaving him one final chance to practice on Friday before the Jaguars make their way to Gillette Stadium for a shot at a Super Bowl berth. 

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It's unclear how Brady's hand issue will impact his ability to play on Sunday. The expectation is that he will play, but his effectiveness . . . for now seems somewhat uncertain. And the line has moved as a result. 

The Patriots were once nine-point favorites at Caesars Palace, and they are now favored by 7.5 points. Westgate's line made the same move from Patriots -9 to Patriots -7.5. 

For those who feel as though Brady will be OK as he takes on the league's top-ranked passing defense, this represents a golden opportunity. For everyone else, this is probably a good time to focus your gambling efforts on the NFC Championship Game.