FOXBORO -- Jets coach Rex Ryan scoffed at the criticism of Bill Belichick regarding the fact that the Patriots had Rob Gronkowski on the field in the waning moments of Sunday’s 59-24 win over the Colts.
The tight end reportedly suffered a broken arm while blocking on an extra-point attempt and is expected be on the shelf 4-8 weeks. As a result, Belichick has come under fire for his decision to have such a valuable position player on the field when the game was fundamentally out of reach. But on a conference call with the New England media on Tuesday afternoon, Ryan called the criticism “absolutely ridiculous.”
“It was on an extra point -- he’s probably done it a zillion times. He’s probably done it a hundred times this year for the simple fact of how many points they score. But you never see that,” Ryan said. “Every single team in the league -- we have D’Brickashaw Ferguson there. We have whoever the player is. You don’t play the game that way. It’s just an unfortunate thing. You talk about a freak deal what happened. But unfortunately, that’s part of the game. Injuries do happen. We lost [wide receiver Santonio] Holmes and [cornerback Darrelle] Revis to noncontact injuries. It’s just one of those things. It’s just unfortunate, obviously.”
Ryan said the Patriots are “multiple with their personnel groupings,” so with Gronkowski on the sidelines, he expects a variety of different possibilities at tight end Thursday night.
“It’s an extremely talented team anyway,” he said of New England. “There’s five tight ends on the roster -- you don’t know if they’re going to plug somebody else in [or] what they’re going to do there. They’re very multiple with their personnel groupings anyway, so we basically have to be ready for anything, But clearly, Gronkowski is one of the premiere players in this league. I hate the fact that he’s hurt, but if he’s going to miss a game, I’m not upset that he’s missing our game.”
Ryan noted that the Jets have suffered their share of injuries this season, having lost Holmes and Revis to noncontact injuries earlier in the year.
“There’s a lot of talent on that roster and they can do a lot of different things. They’re very creative. It’s definitely a challenge,” Ryan said. “It’s interesting. ... When you lose a great player like that with Gronkowski, clearly it’s something you have to deal with as a coach. I wonder how New England felt without Holmes and Revis.
“I don’t feel sorry for [the Patriots] -- let’s put it that way.”
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