There are a lot of things that Drew Bledsoe can do with his right arm that you can’t do with yours. Now lift your left arm above your shoulder.
There, you’ve done something Bledsoe can’t.
This is New England’s bye week, but coach Bill Parcells said Wednesday that Bledsoe would not be able to play anyway because of a separated shoulder suffered in Sunday’s loss to San Francisco. And if things don’t improve in the next week, he won’t play Oct. 1. against Atlanta.
The diagnosis is a departure from Parcells’ decision to leave Bledsoe in against the 49ers even though the game was, by most accounts, lost. Parcells said he was just following doctors’ orders; plus he thought it would help Bledsoe’s confidence if he got his first touchdown pass of the season.
New England did lose, 28-3, and despite his $42 million contract, Bledsoe remains the only starting quarterback in the NFL without a touchdown pass. On Wednesday, Bledsoe tried to deflect the criticism aimed at his coach by saying that it was his decision to go back into the game.
“I felt like I could go in and function, so I went in and played,” he said. “They said ‘Can you play?’ and I said, ‘Yeah, I can play and I want to play.’
“If I felt like I was putting my career in jeopardy, I wouldn’t have played. I considered it my decision.”
In his retelling of the conversation, Parcells made no mention of asking Bledsoe’s opinion.
The move has been the biggest sports topic in Boston this week, even as the Red Sox zeroed in on the American League East title. Although the Patriots entered the season with high expectations, the loss of Bledsoe after a 1-2 start could bring their bandwagon to a screeching halt.
Bledsoe said he will rest his shoulder for the bye week, even declining to lift his left arm for reporters. “Not even going to try it,” he said.
Scott Zolak is New England’s No. 2 quarterback. They don’t have a No. 3.
Parcells got into a shouting match with a television reporter who reported after the game that Bledsoe was sent back into action even though he was in obvious pain. The coach insisted that the doctors cleared Bledsoe to play.
Asked if he regretted his decision, Parcells said: “No. Absolutely not. Not one time.”
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