New England Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett said Friday he was medically cleared by the Green Bay Packers before signing with the team in March and stated the organization only elected to let him go after he decided to undergo surgery on a shoulder injury.
He hasn't had surgery at this time, however, and his plan for recovery is unclear.
Bennett, who was waived by the Packers this week for failing to disclose a medical condition and then got claimed by the Pats, posted his side of the story on Instagram, per Kaitlin Sharkey of WITI:
Kaitlin Sharkey @KRoseSharkey
Martellus Bennett gives an explanation via instagram... https://t.co/2qPG4jGIqG2017-11-10 19:48:36
Bart Winkler of WSSP and Kelly Price of WGBA passed along more comments from the tight end (language NSFW):
Bart Winkler @WinksThinks
Here’s the story from Martellus via his Instagram https://t.co/X3o82sEt2G2017-11-10 19:53:57
Kelly Price @thekellyprice
Martellus Bennett tells all on his IG story. #Packers https://t.co/8R5R8aZd102017-11-10 20:08:34
Jordy Nelson posted a statement on Twitter following the comments:
Jordy Nelson @JordyRNelson
Aaron Rodgers also came out in support of the team's medical staff on Instagram:
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Bennett is dealing with a torn rotator cuff and may try to play through the injury following the change of teams, though the Patriots could still opt to place him on injured reserve if he's unable to remain active.
Rapoport previously explained the nuance involved in the Packers' choice to waive the playmaker:
Ian Rapoport @RapSheet
The #Packers paid TE Martellus Bennett $8M of his 3-year, $21M contract. The only tangible benefit to cutting him with the failure to disclose is if they argue his entire contract is void & go after his money. This isn’t over just yet.2017-11-8 22:21:00
Nora Princiotti of the Boston Globe noted Bennett was present during New England's practice Friday, lending credence to the idea he'll attempt to play.
The San Diego native failed to make an impact with the Packers. He made 24 catches for 233 yards and no touchdowns across seven appearances.
Now he'll rejoin Tom Brady and the well-oiled Patriots offensive machine after making 55 grabs for 701 yards and seven scores during the 2016 campaign. It's unknown how effective he can be while working through a serious shoulder injury, though.
New England's next game comes Sunday night when they travel to face the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Bennett's availability for that contest remains up in the air.