FOXBOROUGH – After Stevan Ridley’s costly fumble against the Buffalo Bills that saw him get benched for the second half of Sunday’s game, Patriots coach Bill Belichick said the third-year running back needs to be ready for Thursday’s game against the New York Jets.
“I talked to Stevan,” Belichick said. “Look, every player has the same responsibilities every week. Be ready to play, be ready to go. That’s their job.
“They can’t control coaches decisions. Coaches decisions are coaches decisions. They control their preparation and they control their performance when they’re in the game. That’s what a player’s job is. That’s always what it has been for everybody.”
The decision on Ridley’s use will likely come easier for the Patriots after teammate Shane Vereen reportedly broke a bone in his left wrist, sidelining him for the time being.
Running back is one of the Patriots’ deepest positions, with Ridley, LeGarrette Blount, Brandon Bolden (knee injury), and Leon Washington (thigh injury) on the roster.
– Belichick said this Jets team, despite having Rex Ryan still at head coach, is vastly different from years past, affecting how the team game-plans for Thursday.
“I’m not sure how much the histories are relevant,” he said. “They changed offensive coordinators. There’s some major differences there. There’s similarities on defense but there’s quite a few differences defensively from what they’ve done in the past. And they’ve changed coordinators in the kicking game. So we’ll do what we think is best, let’s put it that way.”
– On dealing with Vereen’s injury: “We’ll see how it all turns out.”
– On Jets rookie quarterback Geno Smith: “I thought he played well in the preseason in limited opportunity. I thought he played well against Tampa last week. … He made the plays that they needed to win.”