Patriots running back Eric Kettani has finally been cleared to return to the NFL on a fulltime basis, as the United States Navy released him from active duty Wednesday to complete Kettani's lengthy appeal process.
Kettani served two years of active duty before he was granted select reserve status last year, which allowed him to attend training camp. As a selective reserve, Kettani agreed to promote the Navy and complete charitable work, which he did through the Wounded Warrior Project. After training camp, the Patriots added Kettani to their practice squad.
However, he was recalled by the Navy in October due to a time of war. Kettani immediately appealed the Navy's decision, but there was no timetable given for the ruling, which ultimately came down Wednesday.
The Patriots released Kettani in October rather than putting him back on the reserve/military list, which would have ended his 2011 season. Head coach Bill Belichick said the team hoped the Navy would rule on the appeal before the end of the season, so the Patriots released him to preserve the roster spot.
As the process wore on, though, Kettani more realistically hoped to get the ruling in time for training camp in 2012. He also attended the Patriots' voluntary workouts that began last week.
Now, Kettani is free to pursue his NFL career on a fulltime basis.