In a news conference Monday morning, Patriots coach Bill Belichick talked about the team having to place defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (knee) on injured reserve over the weekend.
Kelly’s first season with New England ended after he played in five games, with 12 tackles and 2½ sacks. The former Raider was injured against the Bengals Oct. 6, and he returned to practice Wednesday and Thursday last week. However, he likely suffered a setback, because he didn’t practice Friday, and then was placed on IR.
“It’s really unfortunate for Tommy and our team, but especially for Tommy,” Belichick said of the veteran, signed by New England in April. “He’s come in and done everything we asked him to do in the spring, training camp, and at the start of the season when he was healthy.
“A tough break for him because he’s worked so hard and really has done a good job for us. He helped us in the running game and the passing game. We’ve asked him to play some different techniques and he worked fairly hard to adapt his game to our scheme and style of play. He and Vince [Wilfork] had a good rapport going in there, but unfortunately he won’t be able to finish the season for us this year.”
Kelly signed a two-year contract with New England, but for as well as he was playing, he will be 33 in December and coming off the knee injury, so it will be interesting to see if the Patriots keep him and his current 2014 base salary of $1.95 million.
“I’m disappointed any time a player gets hurt, obviously,” Belichick said. “Players put so much into their preparation for the season, not just this year but throughout their entire career to get to this point. It’s disappointing for them, but I think it’s particularly disappointing for him given his situation this year.”
No injury report
Asked for an update on the status of safety Steve Gregory (thumb), wide receiver Austin Collie (knee), and defensive lineman Rob Ninkovich (foot), who all left Sunday’s 55-31 win over the Steelers with injuries, Belichick would not provide one.
Gregory and Collie were immediately taken into the locker room after they were hurt and not spotted after the game. Ninkovich did return to the sideline during the game, though he didn’t play, and was spotted in the locker room in street shoes, without a walking boot or visible brace.
“I don’t really have any injury information that I can pass along,” Belichick said. “When we’re required to report it, of course we’ll report it. In the meantime, we’ll just keep that information internally.”
Since the Patriots do not play this week, they are not required to provide injury reports.
When Danny Amendola caught his first touchdown as a Patriot in the first quarter, he became the 50th player to catch a touchdown from Tom Brady. The first? Terry Glenn, Oct. 14, 2001 vs. the Chargers . . . Sunday was the most-watched Patriots game of the season in the Boston market, drawing an average household rating of 40.3. The team’s Week 6 come-from-behind win over the Saints was the previous high, with a 35.1 rating . . . The Patriots had three players who recorded more than 120 receiving yards and one or more touchdowns Sunday – Rob Gronkowski (143 yards on nine catches, touchdown), Aaron Dobson (130 yards on five catches, two TDs), and Amendola (122 yards on four catches, TD) — a first in franchise history. It was the third time that’s happened in NFL history, and the second came this season when the Cowboys did it against the Broncos in Week 5. The first time was more than 50 years ago, when the Houston Oilers did it in November 1961 against the New York Titans.