Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick cleared up the minor confusion around Mike Cloud's absence from Wednesday's practice sessions by announcing that the running back has had surgery to repair a leg injury.
"Things kind of came down pretty quickly in the last 24 hours or so," Belichick said leading off his Thursday morning press conference at Gillette Stadium. "He had surgery and will be out for probably an undetermined amount of time. I think it will be somewhat significant. I don't want to try to mislead anybody into thinking it is longer than it is or shorter than it is. Again, it happened pretty quickly. I don't know the full extent of the time frame, but it is certainly not of the day-to-day basis."
Cloud signed with the Patriots this offseason after completing a tryout with the team during mini camp. He was expected to compete with the likes of J.R. Redmond and Antwoine Womack for the backup spot behind Antowain Smith, although he did join New England with a four-game NFL suspension that will have to be served before he is eligible to play.
For his career the former Kansas City Chiefs and Boston College running back who also attended high school in Portsmouth, R.I. has played in 56 NFL games with six starts. In four years with the Chiefs the 5-10, 210-pound Cloud carried the ball 121 times for 381 yards and four touchdowns. He also caught 11 passes for 89 yards.
Cloud had shown some good running ability in his limited action to date in camp, notably breaking off a couple of good runs in Monday night's practice in the Gillette Stadium.
"I thought he had a pretty good night here in the scrimmage Monday night," Belichick said. "He was picking up a new system and coming along, but unfortunately he has had a little setback.
"Again I don't even know all the specifics of it, but the bottom line is it came up pretty quickly and the procedure was done and it is going to be a while. It was an injury that he had. He was out on the field and it seemed to be coming along and then it just flared up."
When asked if the fact that Cloud also had the four-game suspension mitigated the loss in any way, Belichick said he did not see it that way.
"I don't really look at it that way," Belichick said. "I feel bad for Mike. I talked to him this morning. I just feel badly that he has worked hard, he came in ready to go, did some positive things and now had a little setback."