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Patriots.com News Blitz - 07/21/05

The Patriots cleared up any speculation about the playing status of Tedy Bruschi yesterday when a statement was issued that Bruschi will not play this season. Patriots executive director of media relations, Stacey James issued the following statement Wednesday: "Since suffering a mild stroke on February 16, 2005, Tedy Bruschi has focused on the short-term goal of getting better every day. His health has improved steadily during the past five months and Tedy continues to make daily improvements with his on-going rehabilitation. It has been an offseason of many emotional highs and lows for Tedy and his family. With the Patriots' training camp reporting date now just over a week away, Tedy has reached a decision on his playing status for the upcoming season and has declared his intentions to forgo the 2005 campaign. The Bruschi family wanted to express their heartfelt appreciation for the tremendous outpouring of support they have received from fans throughout New England and others around the country. They also expressed their gratitude for the support and assistance provided by the entire Patriots organization. Tedy pledges to focus on his health and his family while continuing to offer on-going support to his teammates throughout the upcoming season."

Jerome Solomon of the Boston Globe, Michael Felger of the Boston Herald, Tom Curran of the Providence Journal and Chris Kennedy of the Republican all offer stories on Bruschi's decision not to play the 2005 season.

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that though Bruschi will sit out the 2005 season he is not planning on retiring. Cafardo cities team sources saying that Bruschi will be paid his $850,000 salary and also notes that though Bruschi will not play this season the team has yet to designate his status. The Patriots can designate Bruschi's status as either injured reserve, non-football-related injury, or physically unable to perform.

Michael Felger of the Boston Herald offers players reactions to the teams announcement on Bruschi's playing status. "I think there are a lot of things in life a lot more important than football, so I do think this is good news. I don't think there's any reason to rush it. He's still a Patriot," said Ted Johnson.

Mike Reiss of the MetroWest Daily News offers his daily sports blog with Patriots notes.

Chris Colston of Sports Weekly offers up his NFL predications on USA Today. He predicts New England and Miami as the top two in the AFC East.

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