Kyle Van Noy feels for Michael Bennett.
On 98.5 The Sports Hub's Zolak and Bertrand program, Van Noy was asked what it must be like for a player like Bennett to deal with a reduced role after being used to having a more regular role over the course of his career. Bennett played just 11 snaps against the Giants last week and has been suspended for having what he called a "philosophical disagreement" with coach Bret Bielema the following day.
"Man, I'm sure it's really tough," Van Noy said. "He is a really, really good football player. He wants to play. When he's been on the field, he makes really good plays. When you look at his sacks they're really good for the amount of snaps that he's played. Look at the defense, it's hard to argue anything . . . Everybody's playing really, really good. It's a fight to get reps."
Bennett has 2.5 sacks to go along with a quarterback hit and six hurries in six games this season. He's played 130 total snaps, slotting him in behind Adam Butler, Lawrence Guy and Danny Shelton as the top defensive linemen on the depth chart.
Deatrich Wise looked like he had worked his way ahead of Bennett last week, as he played 14 total snaps. Seven of Bennett's 11 snaps came when the score was 35-14 late in the fourth quarter.
Van Noy was dealt to the Patriots from the Lions in 2016 as he dealt with sporadic playing time despite starting each of Detroit's first seven games that year. Bennett is playing far less now than Van Noy was then, but Van Noy may have some insight into how Bennett is feeling.
"It's a hard thing to do," Van Noy said. "You really gotta set your pride to the side and . . . that's a hard thing to do when you've been the guy at other places in your career. I love Michael and I'm going to have his back."
Bennett's one-week suspension hit the league transaction wire on Tuesday afternoon. He will lose one game check while suspended. If the Patriots plan to trade him off their roster in the hopes of recouping some value in return for the veteran defensive end, they'll have to do so prior to the Oct. 29 deadline.
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