FOXBOROUGH — The Patriots announced Friday they will be without running back Stevan Ridley Sunday against the Bengals because of a knee injury.
The third-year veteran did not practice all week, so his deactivation is not a surprise It is the first time in his career Ridley will miss a game.
Though he was the Patriots lead back last season, running for more than 1,200 yards, Ridley fumbled twice in the season opener against the Bills, with one overturned on replay, and the second returned for a touchdown.
He was benched for the rest of that game, but was back a few days later against the Jets, after Shane Vereen was placed on injured reserve with a broken wrist. Ridley has rushed 11 times in each of the last two games, totaling 88 yards, as he’s split carries with LeGarrette Blount (23 carries, 129 yards, touchdown) and Brandon Bolden (nine carries, 68 yards).
New England declared 10 players questionable, meaning there’s a 50-50 chance they could play. Among them were Danny Amendola (groin), Rob Gronkowski (back/forearm), Bolden (knee), and rookies Kenbrell Thompkins (shoulder) and Aaron Dobson (neck).
Amendola did not say in the locker room on Friday whether he would be returning, though he did comment that he is “looking forward to Sunday,” which could be an indication of his status.
Thompkins said his shoulder is “fine,” and Dobson said he’s feeling much better after a scary hit in the end zone against Atlanta, when his neck bent awkwardly as he was hit by two Falcons.
Earlier in the week, Gronkowski reiterated that he’s making progress, but there were multiple reports Friday that he probably won’t play this week.
Though Matthew Slater (wrist) returned to practice Friday for the first time since breaking his left wrist against the Jets, he is listed as doubtful.
Collie raring to go
It has been more than a year since wide receiver Austin Collie has played in a game. After suffering the third concussion of his career in a 2012 exhibition game, the former Colts standout returned for Week 3 and ruptured his patellar tendon, forcing him to sit the remainder of the season.
The Patriots signed Collie, 27, Thursday, and he is determined to leave his injury-riddled past behind him.
“I’ve been ready,” Collie said. “But right now, all my focus is just on getting to know the offense, getting better and getting accustomed with the play calling.’’
Collie, who also suffered concussions in November and December of the 2010 season, told USA Today in June that he would sign a waiver to exempt teams from legal trouble if he suffered another concussion.
In August, he was signed by the 49ers, but was released at the end of the month during final preseason cuts. After Friday’s practice at Gillette Stadium, Collie would not confirm if a concussion waiver was in his one-year contract with New England.
“I’d rather not talk about the concussions and the past injuries,” Collie said. “I think I’ve been asked those questions a lot the past couple years and I’m ready to put all that stuff behind me and move on.”
Collie also was adamant that his best days of football are in front of him.
“It’s a gift I’ve been given, and I want to maximize that gift, and I feel like I have a lot more left to give,” Collie said. “If I didn’t feel that way, if I didn’t feel like I had more to give, like I maximized my potential already, I’d walk away.”
In four seasons with the Colts, Collie collected 173 passes for 1,845 yards and 16 touchdowns. It is uncertain how quickly he will fit into the New England offense and what his impact will be.
But with Gronkowski and Amendola absent, there is a need to help Tom Brady and the Patriots offense.
“There’s a lot of balls to be caught and I can’t wait to learn more about [the system],” Collie said. “I can’t wait to get that chemistry down with No. 12 and jell with this offense and become part of this offense.”
With just two practices under his belt, Collie’s status for Sunday’s game against the Bengals is uncertain. That said, coach Bill Belichick didn’t rule out his availability.
“We’ll kind of recall where he is and see where we’re at tomorrow and make a decision,” Belichick said. “At Cleveland we signed a player on Tuesday and started him at quarterback on Sunday, so yeah. I don’t know, we’ll just have to see how it goes.”
Jets claim Sudfeld
After being released by the Patriots Thursday, tight end Zach Sudfeld was claimed by the Jets Friday. Sudfeld, who was signed as an undrafted free agent, did not register a catch in three games . . . For the second time in as many weeks, the Patriots released cornerback/special teams standout Marquice Cole, who was released last Friday and re-signed Tuesday.