Zoltan Mesko is a definite maybe, Patrick Chung returns and other Patriots notes
|09.23.11 at 3:10 pm ET|
FOXBORO — When the punter talks, you know there’s an unusual story to follow.
Such was the case Friday when Zoltan Mesko addressed reporters for about five minutes about his left knee, injured in the third quarter last Sunday against the Chargers.
Fellow special teamer James Ihedigbo was pushed into Mesko well after the lefty booted the ball away at the Patriots 8.
“It was our own guy that tripped up and it was a bunch of people in there and it was well after the punt was gone, just a freak thing.”
The good news this week is that he’s been at practice, testing the knee. But a final decision won’t come until after Friday’s practice.
“We’ll see how I handle it. I’m looking forward to helping the team out. I’m going to do whatever it takes to get out there and give it all I’ve got. Ultimately, it’s the coaches’ decision on whether they want to take me to Buffalo. I’d be excited if they would choose so.
“My gut feeling, it’s all up to [Friday] practice. I feel good. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll test out fully. I feel like I put in all I’ve got, as far as rehab goes.
“We’ve tested it out a little bit but [Friday] is the day to decide it. Not a lot of anxiety, more so to put the work in and give it my all. If it doesn’t go, I’m not anxious because I know I gave it all I’ve got.”
Mesko had to be helped off the field and did not return, resulting in the Patriots going for and failing on fourth down at the Chargers 49 in the fourth quarter. Mesko, who tried helping Stephen Gostkowski get ready on the sidelines – just in case, said he hadn’t been through that before.
“It was a weird feeling,” Mesko said. “I knew I still had a duty to Steve and the team to try and make it a go but obviously, it wasn’t working so I tried to help Steve out with the holding as much as I could. That was a first-time thing. First few moments was kind of strange.
“I had no clue. I’m always the eternal optimist so I was hoping for the best so it wasn’t too bad. I tried campaigning on the sidelines but [kept] it to myself.”
Meanwhile, Patrick Chung was also back at practice on Friday, sporting a brand new cast on his right hand/arm after reportedly having surgery this week to stabilize the thumb, injured last Sunday.
Chung reportedly had surgery earlier this week to place a pin in his thumb following an injury during Sunday’s win over the Chargers. He missed practice on Wednesday and Thursday before returning Friday.
Missing from the start of practice on Friday were Albert Haynesworth (back), Dan Gronkowski (hamstring), Mike Wright (concussion), Sebastian Vollmer (back) and Aaron Hernandez (knee). All five of those players all missed practice Wednesday and Thursday. The Patriots look for their 16th straight win over the Bills when they travel to Orchard Park, N.Y. for Sunday’s game.
Bill Belichick opened Friday’s press conference by expressing regret that he had to place center Dan Koppen (ankle) and defensive lineman Myron Pryor (shoulder) on season-ending injured reserve.
“I feel bad that we had to place Dan and Myron on injured reserve,” Belichick said. “Dan has played a lot of really good football for us here and he’s really been such a dependable guy in every sense of the word. You really take it for granted or almost take it for granted. When you don’t have him you really realize how consistent and dependable he has been.
“Myron had a good preseason, I thought he really got off to a little bit of a late start but worked hard, was doing really well. I’m just disappointed for them. Obviously we have some other guys banged up this week. I’m not going to go into any kind of detail on any of the individual players.”
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