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Replay: Best of Radio Thu Apr 18 - 02:00 PM | Tue Apr 23 - 11:55 AM

Bill Belichick Press Conference

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick held a press conference to update the status of Drew Bledsoe.



BB: I have had a lot of inquiries about Drew's situation. I just wanted to follow-up and give you the information as I have it. Evidently there is some information coming out on him from somewhere, I don't know the hospital or whatever it is, but the only thing that I can go by is what our doctors who have seen him have told me and what I actually know myself from visiting Drew and from talking to him. Just to review, Drew was hit hard in the game. He was wearing a flack jacket and all of the normal padding. He was stunned, but didn't lose consciousness even though he was on the ground there and was stunned, he never lost consciousness and according to the doctors there was no sign of a significant concussion. He was dazed. At that point he did not have any chest pain. He went back in the game, as I have talked about before, when he went back in the game I just felt that he wasn't his normal self back in there and that is when I took him out after that series. It was a situation where I just was concerned about the way he was operating the team. I wasn't aware of an injury at that point other than the kind of mental dazing that occurred after the hit. After the game, in the training room, Drew complained about some pain in his chest on the left side. After doing some of the normal training room procedures he was transferred to Mass General by ambulance. When he got to the hospital the tests there showed some bleeding in the left chest cavity. A tube was placed in there to remove some of the blood that had accumulated in his chest. That tube was left in place. It appears that there was an impact in the chest that sheared a blood vessel, which left some blood standing there in his left chest. There is no damage that has been detected to any internal organ or ribs or anything like that or lungs or any of those places in the body. The chest tube will probably be removed tomorrow and assuming that it all continues to go well which I know that Drew is feeling a lot better and seeing him last night he looked a whole lot better than he did 24 hours before or whatever it was, 18 hours before. Assuming that things continue to go well my guess is that he will be discharged in the next day or two. That is really all of the information that I can give you. I know a couple of those things clear it up from what I told you yesterday. That is really the most recent information that I have that I think that I can pass along to you.

Q: Is there any truth about the collapsed lung?

BB: There was no damage detected to any of his internal organs or ribs or lungs.

Q: There was a report that he was intensive care, can you confirm that?

BB: I think that is the case and I am not sure exactly what the situation is there. I do know that the hospital is full. That there weren't any rooms available so I do think that he was in intensive care. Now whether he would have been in there anyway or not, I am not sure, but the hospital is full and I am pretty sure last night that he spent the night there, yes.

Q: What did they do to repair that sheared blood vessel?

BB: I think that it is basically taking care of itself. The bleeding, as I understand it, has subsided or maybe stopped altogether and it is just a natural healing process.

Q: Is there any timetable for his return?

BB: I hate to put a time on it right now. I don't think there is any chance that he would play this week and probably not the following week. I think if we get a few more days to see how things are coming along then I think we will have a better idea, but I don't see it being in the next week or two, let's put it that way.

Q: Was there any concern or talk about the fact that he took an ambulance to Mass General after the game as opposed to airlifted to save more time, maybe not suffer as much build up of blood or fluids?

BB: I think the medical people handled the situation the way that they felt it should be handled, the emergency people. I really don't know any more about that. I think it was handled with the emergency people and that is what they decided to do.

Q: Have any of the doctors, has anyone suggested to you that Drew may need surgery to correct anything?

BB: No.

Q: Did he suffer a concussion?

BB: No. He never lost consciousness on the sideline.

Q: So he did not suffer a concussion, a mild concussion or any form of a concussion?

BB: Not according to the doctors, no. He was dazed or stunned, but he did not lose consciousness.

Q: After the injury on Sunday, was there any kind of a conversation between you and Drew whereby he asked you to go back into the game?

BB: That conversation I think was more with Dr. Zarins. I just asked him if he was okay after he was cleared to go back in and he said he was. That was about the extent of it with me.

Q: Is there any chance that he would be able to help prepare Tom Brady at all this week? Might he be on the field Sunday?

BB: When Drew gets out and when he comes back here I think we will evaluate that situation, how he is feeling and what he can do. I wouldn't be surprised at all if he is in some way able to assist us in our preparations. But I think until he is released and does get here and all of that, until then, we will just see how all of that goes when all that comes down.

Q: Is that two week period that you mentioned yesterday, is that still applicable in terms of when he might be available again?

BB: I really don't know. I don't think it will be before that. I really don't know. I think it is too early to really put a return date on it at this point.

Q: Do you know if Drew was throwing up blood after the game?

BB: He was not.

Q: You said you visited with him last night. How long did you stay and can you tell us anything about that?

BB: I was there with Charlie [Weis]. I would say that Charlie and I were there for about 20-30 minutes, somewhere in that neighborhood. He was up quite a bit Sunday night and it was getting a little bit later Monday night so we stayed and talked with him for a little while and then we left when he was getting ready to get a little more rest. He was in relatively good spirits and looked a whole lot better than he did Sunday night.

Q: When you visited him was he in the ICU?

BB: I am not really sure to tell you the truth. He was sitting there in a room in a bed. I am not really sure what department it was in.

Q: You mentioned that there was no damage at all to any internal organs, do you know if he had a collapsed lung at any point?

BB: Let me just say this one more time, this is what the doctors have told me, that there was no damage detected to any of his internal organs or his ribs or a puncture or a collapsed lung. There was no damage detected.

Q: Would that include the ruptured spleen rumor as well?

BB: Any internal organ.

Q: Do you take this as a positive change from what maybe it looked like Sunday night?

BB: I didn't really know what to think Sunday night. I think that what the doctors have told me today is pretty consistent with what they told me yesterday. It looks like he is feeling better, that things are coming along and that he will be out soon and it doesn't look like there is any kind of long-term problem or anything like that. That it is just going to take a little bit of time to heal.

Q: Was there a point where you were more concerned maybe beyond a normal football injury, where you worried for a time after the game, the next morning?

BB: The only thing I can really say is that I go by what the doctors tell me. When they are concerned, I am concerned and when they are not concerned, then I guess I am not. I mean I am concerned, but I am going off what the information is that they give me. They were right there the whole time. They were on top of the situation and felt like he was getting good care. I can't tell you what went on medically at the hospital Sunday night. Basically what I know is what was told to me on Monday on where things stood. Was I concerned? Yeah, sure, but nothing was ever implicated that it was going to be…they just didn't really know what it was and then once they found out what it was they started treatment.

Q: Sunday night did any of the medical staff tell you or any other Patriot official, to the best of your knowledge that they believed at that time that he had a ruptured spleen and then they changed that by Monday morning?

BB: I personally did not hear that from our medical people, no.

Q: Right, but did anybody else in your organization, that you know of, including the owner?

BB: I really don't know. I didn't see Mr. Kraft Sunday night he wasn't there when Drew was down in the training room and then when he left, so I didn't see him Sunday night.

Q: Admittedly you don't like to give a whole lot of information about injuries, but in a case like this wouldn't it make more sense to have one of the doctors talking about things because they are doctors and can answer questions about exactly what they did and what they were afraid of?

BB: I am trying to do the best I can.

Q: Right, but wouldn't it be better to go to the first source, the doctors that examined him? On other football teams the doctors are allowed to talk to the media especially when they have case involving a player like Bledsoe with an injury like this?

BB: I am just trying to give you as much information as I can. That is all I am trying to do. Maybe I can just conclude with the roster moves that we had today. We waived Matt Chatham, we re-signed Torrance Small and we signed [Maugaula] Tuitele to the practice squad.

Q: How about a third quarterback this week?

BB: Have not made a decision on that. I think we are probably still going to hang on here for another day or two and try to wait until we get a little better timeline on it. I know we are talking probably about two weeks at the minimum with this injury, but I think I would like to find out a little bit more before we see what kind of timeframe we are looking at before we make a decision on the third quarterback, if there is a decision to be made.

Q: On the sideline prior to sending Bledsoe back, did you yourself talk to Dr. Zarins or Dr. Dineen or any of the doctors, or did you get what they said through someone else?

BB: Whenever a player is injured it is up to the medical people on the sideline to clear him to go back in. A coach can't take a player and put him back on the field. Just like doctors wouldn't call plays, well most of them wouldn't, coaches don't make medical decisions. So when the medical people clear a player to go back in then it is the coaches decision whether to put him back in, but until that happens then there really is not a decision to make.

Q: You said there was no damage to any internal organs, but the question I have…

BB: If you are asking if he had a collapsed lung, I am saying no.

Q: It is possible to have a collapsed lung for a short period of time and then have it not collapsed?

BB: It would have to had to have happened pretty quick because it wasn't detected down at the hospital when he got there.

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