THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING

Wilhite matter is investigated

By Monique Walker and Christopher L. Gasper
Globe Staff / September 29, 2009

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FOXBOROUGH - The injury Patriots cornerback Jonathan Wilhite suffered before Sunday’s game that resulted in him being inactive seems to revolve around an incident at his home Sunday morning.

According to a report by the Providence Journal, North Attleborough police are investigating an incident involving a Patriots player and a home invasion.

Wilhite’s agent, Jason Chayut, would not confirm Wilhite’s home was broken into, but he told the Globe that the incident is a police matter.

“Basically the injury is nothing serious,’’ Chayut said. “He’ll be back at practice. The incident is not something I’m going to talk about. It’s a police matter. It was nothing serious. The kid is fine.’’

The North Attleborough Police Department would not release a report last night, stating the incident remains “under investigation.’’

According to the police log, officers were called to an address matching Wilhite’s at 8:25 a.m. Sunday morning for “suspicious activity’’, hours before the 1 p.m. kickoff between the Patriots and Falcons at Gillette Stadium. Wilhite was seen warming up before the game with Benjamin Watson and Leigh Bodden but was listed as inactive before the start of the game.

The inactive tag for Wilhite was a surprise. He was not on the injury report all week and had played in the Patriots’ previous two games as the starting cornerback.

Following the 26-10 Patriots victory, New England coach Bill Belichick was asked if Wilhite was a healthy scratch and he responded, “He had an injury [Sunday] morning.’’

When asked if there was actually an injury involved or whether Wilhite sat out simply because he was shaken up over the incident, Chayut said, “There was something, but not anything big. He is fine.’’

Wilhite was not hospitalized and was seen in the locker room following team meetings yesterday wearing street clothes. He did not appear seriously hurt.

As word spread of the incident interest grew and by last night media crews began arriving at Wilhite’s home. Players are off today and return to practice tomorrow in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Ravens at Gillette Stadium.

Wilhite, a fourth-round draft pick out of Auburn, is in his second season with the Patriots. He played in all 16 games his rookie season.

Monique Walker can be reached at mwalker@globe.com.

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