NFL-veteran-turned-SI-columnist Ross Tucker reiterated that Patriots coach Bill Belichick had practiced players on injured reserve, which would have violated league rules.
He stuck with his recent SI story during an appearance on ESPN’s NFL LIVE that he had seen the practice firsthand when he played with the Patriots in 2005.
From Tucker’s May 15th column on SI.COM:
[Matt] Walsh’s comments to commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this week that New England had players on injured reserve participate in practice wasn’t news to me. I had heard the Patriots did this before I signed with them in 2005 and I saw it firsthand during my time there. I asked veteran receiver Troy Brown about it one time and he responded, “Every team in the league does that.” I quickly let him know none of the three teams I played for previously had done so.
He reiterated those remarks on Thursday night’s NFL LIVE on ESPN, as reported on ESPN.COM:
Tucker told “NFL Live” that Patriots coach Bill Belichick will do anything he can “to get an advantage.” He also added that using a player on injured reserve in practice was of “minimal” benefit.
As an aside, if Tucker’s column isn’t destination reading for you, it should be. His insights into and opinions on the game are without peer.
As for the Patriots, we can assume not only that the Pats are a cadre of cheating bastards, but that the league will drag its feet at every turn in addressing the issue. Whether one would call this “Spygate Deux,” or whatever, this isn’t going away.
This is like the guy that cheated on his taxes and is now getting audited for everything turned in over the last seven years, but the audit isn’t coming from the league, and that may be the greatest impropriety of all.