Dan Koppen Hopes to Return to Patriots After Contract Expires

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October 26, 2011

FOXBORO, Mass. — Patriots center Dan Koppen is hopeful he hasn't played his last down in New England.

The former Boston College star was placed on injured reserve in September, and his contract expires after this season. He said that's an issue for another time, but he wants to stay with the team that selected him in the fifth round of the 2003 draft.

"I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Koppen said Wednesday. "I'm enjoying where I'm at right now, rooting these guys on and hoping they have a great season. We'll deal with that later.

"This [injury] is a minor bump in the road," Koppen said. "We'll be back [to playing football], and hopefully I'll be here."

Koppen, who was replaced at center by Dan Connolly, suffered an ankle injury in the season opener against the Dolphins and placed on injured reserve a week later. Reports estimated Koppen would be out until late November or early December in a best-case scenario.

"It was one of those things where we let it sit on it a little bit and see what happens," Koppen said. "It would have been a process [to get back]. It was a decision made, but it's a business. Things have got to get done, and you can't hold spots all year."

Koppen just got off crutches and has been rehabbing at Gillette Stadium. He's remained close with the team since the injury.

"Just getting back to working it out and taking it slow," Koppen said. "There's no rush back now. Just heal it up to 100 percent and be ready to go next year."

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