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Moss played through injury

Receiver separated shoulder in Week 5

Randy Moss didn’t suffer a season-ending injury like Wes Welker, but Moss was limited after injuring his shoulder in Week 5 against the Broncos. Randy Moss didn’t suffer a season-ending injury like Wes Welker, but Moss was limited after injuring his shoulder in Week 5 against the Broncos. (Charles Krupa/Associated Press)
By Adam Kilgore
Globe Staff / February 2, 2010

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MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss this season endured more than the criticism that hovered over him after his effort in a game against the Panthers was questioned.

Moss separated his shoulder in Week 5 against the Broncos, according to a league source. The injury didn’t sideline Moss for any games, although he pulled out of the Pro Bowl after making the team as an alternate.

The source was not certain whether the separated shoulder would require surgery; the typical course of treatment is rest.

Moss caught only one pass for 36 yards against the Broncos Oct. 11. He appeared on the injury report as probable with the shoulder ailment for the next three games. During those games, Moss caught 19 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns.

Moss’s late-season slide occurred after the Patriots made it official that his shoulder had healed. Over the final eight games of the regular season Moss caught 34 passes for 552 yards and eight touch downs.

The difficult stretch brought with it controversy, something that consistently has found Moss throughout his career. Against the Panthers, Moss fumbled the lone pass he caught. Afterward, Carolina cornerback Chris Gamble insisted the Panthers believed Moss would “shut it down’’ if they stifled him early in the game.

Moss’s troubles were not limited to the field. He was among four players sent home because they were tardy for an 8 a.m. team meeting Dec. 9 as the Patriots prepared to play the Panthers.

The fallout surrounding that game obscured another year in which Moss ended the season with impressive statistics. He caught 83 passes (tied for 12th in the NFL) for 1,264 yards (tied for fifth) and 13 touchdowns (tied for first).

Before Moss hurt his shoulder, he also played through a back injury that landed him on the injury report as probable against the Falcons and Ravens in Weeks 3 and 4.

Players selected to the Pro Bowl who do not participate must provide a reason for their absence. The shoulder injury gave Moss an excuse.

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