Stevan Ridley Returns to Gillette Stadium After Spending a Few Days Handling Family Business

FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots rookie running back Stevan Ridley returned to Gillette Stadium on Friday after spending a few days at home to tend to a family issue.

Ridley didn't want to disclose the family matter, but he said everything is OK. Ridley, who grew up in Mississippi, made a few trips to LSU to work out, watch film and prepare for Sunday's game against the Redskins. He was gone from Monday through Thursday before getting back on the practice field Friday.

"Coach sent me home with the game plan, so I really haven't missed all that much," Ridley said. "So I just have to come in here and focus like I've been here the whole week and get in that role."

Ridley, whose maturity is one of his most noticeable personality traits, said he'll have no problem getting back to work from a mental aspect.

"It's life obstacles, and you have to overcome and adjust to them and do whatever you have to do to go out and perform on Sundays," Ridley said. "Because at the end of the day, that's when it counts. Distractions, you're going to have those in and out of your career. If you're gone, something comes up, there could be anything that could be a distraction. You have to be able to put that to the side and stay on track on what the main goals are, and that's for me to be here for this team. That's all I can do. I handled my business and came on back, was in touch with the coaches. So I have to go out there and be responsible [during Friday's practice], get my assignments down and get ready to play on Sunday."

Ridley was appreciative that a bunch of his teammates welcomed him back to the locker room and asked if everything was all right.

"This team is a close team," Ridley said. "We look out for each other. Same way, if somebody else was missing that is normally here every day, I'd ask a few questions, too, and would want to know what is going on, but that's part of being a family. This is a family around here, and we try to do things together, stick around for each other and be here for each other."

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