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It was a no-snap decision

Haynesworth benched because of rotation

The Patriots’ defensive line got worked over while the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs broke through for a 10-yard TD run in the third quarter Sunday. The Patriots’ defensive line got worked over while the Giants’ Brandon Jacobs broke through for a 10-yard TD run in the third quarter Sunday. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / November 8, 2011

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FOXBOROUGH - After averaging more than 20 snaps over his previous four games, Albert Haynesworth was on the field much less Sunday against the Giants, going without a snap over the final 24 minutes.

On New York’s one-play touchdown drive, a 10-yard run by Brandon Jacobs with 9:10 left in the third quarter, Haynesworth looked slow firing off the ball and was immediately pushed out of the way by left guard David Diehl. Jacobs ran through the gaping hole that Diehl created.

Haynesworth did not play another snap.

Yesterday, questions arose as to whether his benching was performance-related or tied to something else, such as a report that Haynesworth and defensive line coach Pepper Johnson had a heated exchange on the sideline.

Bill Belichick said the lack of snaps was because of the rotation at tackle; with Ron Brace active for the first time this season, the Patriots had five players at the position.

“We had a lot of defensive linemen active and so they played in different rotations,’’ Belichick said. “Vince [Wilfork] is a guy obviously that we don’t want off the field, but the rest of those guys, they can’t all play. One guy plays for a while and then somebody else plays and they rotate.’’

But Haynesworth’s number wasn’t called again for the final quarter and a half?

“No,’’ Belichick said.

Asked about Haynesworth’s reported dust-up with Johnson, Belichick said, “Whatever we talk about as a team during the game or in meetings and all that, it’s between the players and the coaches.’’

Haynesworth has been an enigma since being acquired at the start of training camp. He has missed games because of a back issue, and said as recently as last week that he was still “trying to knock the rust off.’’

During camp, Johnson gushed about Haynesworth.

“He’s very unlike a lot of what you read about,’’ Johnson said then. “Albert is a great guy . . . I think Albert is a great person. He’s been tremendous in the classroom to date. I’m expecting a lot from him.’’

On Sunday, Haynesworth didn’t make the stat sheet.

Spikes has MCL sprain

Inside linebacker Brandon Spikes has a sprained medical collateral ligament and is “week to week,’’ according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Spikes left the game in the third quarter after appearing to collide with cornerback Kyle Arrington on a goal-line pass play. On the sideline, trainers evaluated his right knee.

Yesterday, Belichick said that Spikes was undergoing tests and “we’ll see what it looks like tomorrow. Sometimes those things clear up and they’re bruises; sometimes they’re more than that and it takes a bit longer.’’

Teammates Aaron Hernandez and Jerod Mayo have both missed two games this season because of MCL injuries.

Pattern problem?

Chad Ochocinco continues to struggle to fit into the offense and yesterday Belichick and Tom Brady were asked if the receiver and quarterback are on the same page.

There have been a couple of instances in recent games when it appeared Ochocinco was not in the right spot at the end of a route. Brady was asked during his contractually obligated weekly appearance on WEEI if Ochocinco is where he’s supposed to be.

“He certainly is. There’s a lot of things that go into our offense and timing our offense and he and I have only played eight games together,’’ Brady said. “We talked to each other after the game - it’s frustrating coming off the field and we’re not making the plays we’re capable of making. I know that and I’m trying to get him the ball and I’m trying to make him part of the offense; that’s just what my role is.

“Really what I think about is what I need to do better, and there’s plenty of those things . . . I need to throw the ball better, I need to make better decisions, and I gotta make fewer bad plays each game.’’

Belichick said of the Ochocinco-Brady connection, “They’ve made plays. Tom’s made them with all the receivers.’’

Ochocinco has not had a reception in three straight games and for the season has nine catches for 136 yards - the same reception and yardage totals Wes Welker had Sunday.

Faulk ‘was close’

Kevin Faulk was inactive Sunday because of a knee injury, one week after playing 39 snaps against Pittsburgh in his first game action of the season. Belichick said it was a close call to sit the 13-year veteran, who was questionable. “We felt like there were other players that were a little more ready than he was,’’ Belichick said. “But it was close; he probably could have played.’’ . . . Receiver Taylor Price was added to the injury report Saturday night and was inactive because of a hamstring injury. “It kind of tightened up on him,’’ Belichick said. “He worked and then it just tightened up a little bit to where it really wasn’t 100 percent. I’m sure he’ll practice this week unless there’s some unforeseen setback.’’

Shalise Manza Young can be reached at syoung@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung.

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