There were no shenanigans involved in Martellus Bennett’s return to the New England Patriots, according to the NFL.
League spokesman Joe Lockhart said in a conference call Tuesday the league saw no evidence of tampering in the tight end’s transition from the Green Bay Packers back to the Patriots.
The Packers released Bennett last week under a “failure to disclose physical condition” designation. One day later, the Patriots claimed him off waivers.
In a series of Instagram posts Friday, Bennett said his departure from Green Bay followed a disagreement between him and Packers team doctor Patrick McKenzie. Bennett alleged that McKenzie pushed him to play through a shoulder injury despite that, according to Bennett, several other doctors told him he needed surgery.
Bennett’s injury did not prevent him from practicing with the Patriots on Friday, however, or playing against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night.
“It wasn’t where I was, it was just about the injury,” Bennett told reporters in Denver after the Patriots’ 41-16 victory. “It was like one of those things, I talked to six or seven doctors about it and it could go either way. It was like one of those things I felt I should get fixed. And then after trying to get it fixed and getting waived, you just get that vengeance in your heart. It’s just like, ‘All right, that’s how you’re going to do it, then (expletive) it. Let’s go ball.’ ”
Bennett, who spent all of last season with the Patriots, played seven snaps against Denver, catching three passes on three targets for 27 yards. His experience in New England’s offense allowed him to suit up in a game after practicing just once with the team.
“Marty had a good foundation from last season being here,” Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Tuesday in a conference call. “He’s a smart guy, so it hasn’t taken him long. He’s working hard at it. He’s studying. He studied hard just to be able to contribute some the other night, and he’s doing the same thing this week. (We are) looking forward to continuing to build on the foundation that he had and just get him back into the fundamental aspects of playing in our system, and a good practice week will help all that.”
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