Stevan Ridley sounds like a man on a mission as the Pittsburgh Steelers get ready to face the Patriots this week.
Ridley, who was drafted in the third round by the Patriots in 2011 and spent four seasons with the organization, has had a (very) limited role with the Steelers this season, with 23 carries for 60 yards. He scored his only touchdown of the season in last week’s loss to the Oakland Raiders.
With starter James Conner still nursing an ankle injury, Ridley could see more playing time this week, and he is relishing the opportunity.
“I’m very open and I have to be real: I want this game more than any other game, man,” Ridley told The Boston Herald’s Kevin Duffy. “That’s just the bottom line to it. And it’ll be that way from this year until I go in the grave. I’m just that kind of person.”
He said the Patriots did not contact him after his contract expired in 2014.
“I was trashed after an injury,” Ridley said. “I’m just going to put it that way. I’m not going to say specifically, but to be a starter for [the Patriots] for four years, to tear my ACL and never get a call back, that’s a tough pill to swallow.”
Ridley rushed for 1,263 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. He followed that up with 773 yards and seven touchdowns on 178 carries in 2013.
In the final year of his rookie deal in 2014, Ridley tore his ACL in October, ending his season, and ultimately, his tenure with the Patriots. He has bounced around the last four seasons, playing eight games for the Jets in 2015, one with the Atlanta Falcons in 2016, and 10 games over the last two seasons with Pittsburgh.
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