During the fourth quarter of an Oct. 30 loss to the Saints in New Orleans, Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett had to be carted off the field due to soreness in his right knee injury. He'd been playing through the pain for a couple of weeks, and a subsequent MRI revealed cartilage damage. The next day, he underwent arthorscopic surgery and hasn't played since.
Earlier this week, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll declared that Bennett "is only a couple of weeks away" from returning to action. So, it appears Bennett won't be ready in time for Seattle's game this Sunday night in Foxborough, meaning he won't face his younger brother, Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett. The latter joked Thursday that he's not disappointed by this fact.
"Nope. Not upset at all," Martellus grinned. "Mike's a hell of a player. Always been. He does a lot of great things for the Seahawks."
If the elder Bennett had been healthy enough to suit up this week, though, would we have witnessed a fierce sibling rivalry?
"It's always fun playing against – well, it's not fun, actually," Bennett admitted. "I hate playing against my brother… you always want your brother to be healthy. You don't want him to be hurt and you always root for him to do well, but not this week."
If Seattle's Bennett were playing, what would New England's say to him?
"I don't want you to go out there and be terrible, but I don't want you to go out there and be great, either. Find some way to be a C, average student like you were growing up," Bennett smiled. "But he's not there. I know he wanted to be out there. He never wants to miss a game. He wants to be there with his teammates."
Talking to Martellus, who's about a year-and-a-half younger than Michael, it's clear that he holds him in high regard.
"He's the ultimate big brother. He's always been proud of me. I try to make him proud when I go out there and play."
Gronk-in' on a prayer
Bennett loves blasting his music, singing, and dancing in the Patriots locker room when the media are allowed inside. He might be a bit jealous, then, of fellow tight end Rob Gronkowski, who stars in a new music video.
Actually, it's a commercial for the Madden 17 video game, but Gronkowski does his own singing in a parody of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer."
"You saw that? Yeah, that was pretty cool," Gronk grinned. "Madden did a great job, great concept. I definitely enjoyed shooting that music video and thought it came out super well, so pick me on your Madden team. That's the main focus of it."
And that really is him singing, right?
"Yeah it is. It's kind of average," he confirmed. "I wish I could sing. I'd be in that career then."
You can just picture him spiking a mic, can't you?
All's well, or at least as well as can be expected, on New England's injury front at the moment. The Patriots have just three players listed, including Bennett, who's right ankle continues to be a nagging issue since he injured it Week 5 at Cleveland. He's been limited in practices as a result, but aside from him, just defensive lineman Alan Branch (back) and wide receiver Julian Edelman (left foot) are listed as limited participants.
All three were on the field again Thursday with every other member of the 53-man roster and the nine practice squad players. New England has yet to fill the 10th and final slot on the practice squad, which opened up after defensive lineman Anthony Johnson was signed to the New York Jets' 53-man roster this week.