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Quarterbacks were in danger whenever Andre Carter was on the field in 2011
At 32 years young, Andre Carter battled like a man possessed in 2011. The 11-year vet posted 52 combined tackles, 10 sacks and two forced fumbles in his first season with the New England Patriots.
A torn quadriceps tendon may have cut his 2011 season short, but Carter made his impact felt for the Patriots and earned a Pro Bowl nod.
Now 33, Carter faces another opponent—Father Time. However, the 6'4", 255-pound pass-rusher stays in excellent shape and is aging like a fine wine. Since 2007, Carter has totaled three double-digit sack seasons. In his first six pro seasons, No. 93 accomplished the feat just once.
As of March 24, the Boston Herald reported Carter was still "limping heavily," but he insists he'll be ready for the 2012 campaign. In fact, his name even surfaced in rumors with the Baltimore Ravens after Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles.
If he can get 100 percent healthy, the former Cal Bear could be a force once again in 2011—but it all remains to be seen.
"'If [Coach Belichick] feels I have the potential to be a playmaker, in a 4-3 or 3-4, than [sic] so be it,'" Carter told Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald this March. "'That decision I’m sure will be determined in the next few weeks through free agency or after. Regardless, I love playing for the Patriots. It’s been a blast.'"
This offseason, New England has added depth at defensive end with first-round pick Chandler Jones, third-round pick Jake Bequette, as well as Trevor Scott and Jonathan Fanene via free agency. These fresh faces may take Carter's place, but there's still a slight chance the wily competitor will re-sign.
"I thought it was a slam dunk," said ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss in a Patriots chat on May 10. "I'm not so sure any more. If I had to put a number on his return, I'd say 25 percent. Complete guess."
The chances of an Andre Carter comeback in New England are growing more bleak, but there's still reason for hope.