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Dane Fletcher still coming to Patriots team meetings because he ‘digs’ football 08.31.12 at 4:28 pm ET
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Dane Fletcher was back in the Patriots locker room Friday and is already looking ahead to 2013. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — In basketball, players who hang around the gym all the time are called “gym rats.”

The Patriots have the equivalent. His name is Dane Fletcher.

The linebacker and special teams player said Friday that he will have surgery on his injured left knee next week. The linebacker tore his ACL during the team’s preseason opener on Aug. 9 against the Saints during punt coverage. Fletcher was immediately placed on injury waivers by the team and cleared before the team claimed him back 24 hours later and placed him on injured reserve.

Still, he wants to be around the team in the days before and after his surgery to prove a point. He loves the game and is appreciative that the Patriots placed him on injured reserve after waiving him.

“I’m still waiting to have surgery,” said Fletcher, who is in the final year of his three-year, $1.225 million deal. “I’m coming along good, as good as you can so far. We’ll see. You just don’t know. It doesn’t ever to make a lot of sense for another team – in my circumstance – to pick me up. This is my last year of my contract and whatnot. I understand why the Patriots did it. After you tear your ACL and be on waivers for 24 hours, I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t nervous for 24 hours just for the fact you might have to pick up and move. That’d be a tough transition in that kind of situation.”

Fletcher was in the Patriots locker room with a black wrap around the injured knee and said he is getting treatment in advance of the procedure next week.

“Not even being able to get out there with your guys in the regular season, it hurts but I look at everything positive,” Fletcher said. “At least it kind of happened early in the year so I have a full year to recover and be back for next year. That’s the way I look at it.”

Fletcher can remember the punt coverage play distinctly. It was a punt, as it turned out, that didn’t even count in the box score because of a procedure penalty on the Saints. Fletcher was flying down as a gunner when he got nudged from behind by Johnny Patrick of the Saints.

“When you’re running down, you’re breaking down to make the tackle and it threw me off,” Fletcher said. “Maybe he nudged me a little from the side or from the back. He threw me off, my center of gravity. You can only look into it so much and [realize] it happened.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dane Fletcher, Johnny Patrick, Lofa Tatupu, New England Patriots Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
Report: Patriots work out Louisville CB Johnny Patrick 03.19.11 at 3:33 pm ET
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The Patriots held a private workout Saturday morning with Louisville cornerback Johnny Patrick, according to ESPN.com. There may be character concerns with Patrick, as he was charged with assault after allegedly throwing his girlfriend to the ground last year, but he is considered a second-to-mid-round pick in April’s draft.

Patrick had five interceptions as a senior and totaled nine over his four-year career at Lousville. He stands 5-foot-10 5/8 and weighed in at 181 pounds at the combine last month. He ran a 4.55 40-yard dash.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Johnny Patrick, Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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