New England Patriots feature back Stevan Ridley missed last week’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals, but the great news for Patriots fans and fantasy owners is that Ridley is back at practice today. ESPN Boston’s excellent Mike Reiss reports that Stevan Ridley was seen at practice, but the bad news is that Tommy Kelly has not been spotted. Both are suffering from knee injuries, and it is definitely possible for Kelly to miss this week’s big game against the New Orleans Saints. The Patriots signed DT Andre Neblett earlier today, presumably as insurance and depth in case Kelly is a no-go this week.
It’s safe to say that Stevan Ridley will be playing this week against the Saints, and it was surprising to see how serious his knee injury was. It was reported that Ridley’s injury was not serious, and it definitely isn’t a long-term injury. He didn’t seem to visibly suffer an injury in Week 4 against the Atlanta Falcons, and I assumed that the Patriots were simply giving him a day of rest when he missed the first day of practice. However, his fate was sealed when he misses practice on Friday, therefore never practicing that whole week.
But Ridley is back today, and I definitely wouldn’t bet against him playing. The Patriots loss to the Bengals showcased Ridley’s value to this offense, especially in goal-line situations. As for Tommy Kelly, losing him would be a huge blow against a tough Saints interior OL that features excellent center Brian De La Puente.