Thursday was a quiet day in the Patriots locker room, relatively speaking, with one notable exception.
While most players went about their business with headphones on, Martellus Bennett cranked the volume high on his music system’s speakers, for everyone in the Foxborough vicinity to hear.
When finally he turned off the sound, he turned to take a few questions from the media before Thursday’s practice. One reporter suggested to Bennett that the Patriots might be an “angry” team right now after the way they performed against Buffalo last week.
The tight end downplayed that notion.
“Nah, we just try to continue to do what we’ve been doing, which is win games. I think every guy has played with a chip on his shoulder this entire season, so, I don’t think it’s going to change.”
“That’s just who we are as human beings,” explained Bennett. “You can’t play this game without a chip on your shoulder. Whether it’s guys who got cut, got traded, or guys who got cut by other teams, I mean, to play this game, you’ve got to have a chip. Everybody’s chips are a little bit different. It’s like Lays, I guess. You might be a BBQ guy, maybe a sour-cream-and-onion guy, but as long as you have your chip, that’s what gets you through the game.”
New England has had its well-documented issues with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over the past couple of seasons. Could he be a reason for the chips on the Patriots’ shoulders, Bennett was asked? Bennett’s answer did not disappoint.
“Nah,” he grinned, “Goodell looks like a Pringles guy. I don’t consider those chips.”
When Bennett finished, the media crowd flocked to his neighbor in the locker room, wide receiver Julian Edelman. However, Edelman politely asked if he could accommodate them on Friday.
Perhaps he was overcome with a foreboding sense, for a short time later, he sustained a foot injury that limited his participation in practice. It’s unclear if this is related to the injury that required additional surgery on his left foot earlier this year or something entirely different. In any event, his status on Friday will be closely monitored as a result.
Meanwhile, right tackle Marcus Cannon did not practice at all on Thursday. He apparently aggravated the calf injury that has limited his practice reps since last week. Running back Brandon Bolden (left knee) and rookie defensive lineman Vincent Valentine (back) missed their second consecutive practices, as did veteran defensive end Shea McClellin (concussion). Though the latter was spotted walking through the locker room again today, his status for Sunday’s game in Cleveland remains in doubt.