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Eric Kettani leaves Patriots’ practice squad for the Navy

New England Patriots 2011 Headshots

Eric Kettani is leaving his post as a running back on the Patriots’ practice squad to return to the U.S. Navy.

Kettani, who played college football at the U.S. Naval Academy, was informed that he is being ordered to return to his Navy ship in Jacksonville, Ian R. Rapoport of the Boston Herald reports.

Although he was hoping to continue his NFL career, Kettani said he understands that he has orders to follow.

I love my country and I’m happy to serve it, but I’m also happy to be a New England Patriot,” Kettani told Mike Reiss of ESPN.com.

Kettani had requested a leave from active duty that would allow him to stay with the Patriots, but he was informed by letter that his request was denied.

“As our nation is at war, it is important to ensure we maintain our commitment to the nation’s defense,” the letter from the Navy said. “As such, a release from active duty would be inconsistent with that effort.”

And with that, Kettani is out of the NFL and headed back to active service.

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56 Responses to “Eric Kettani leaves Patriots’ practice squad for the Navy”
  1. kernelreefer says: Oct 6, 2011 7:35 PM

    It’ll be tough to come back… veterans aren’t eligible to be on practice squads.

    Just kidding. Godspeed, soldier.

  2. tilllman40 says: Oct 6, 2011 7:37 PM

    Huge bills fan , but goodluck , someday hopefully u will be playing on Sundays.

  3. broncobillie says: Oct 6, 2011 7:41 PM

    No disrespect (seriously) but… this is news?? We have Rex Ryan going to the hall of fame (no caps) and TO playing with the media, and Vick saying the dream team has woekn up with a hangover, and we report a practice squad player off to the service?

    (Good for Kettani – you can’t fault him for his priorities.) But… c’mon man! Surely there is real news out there! How about talking about the 49ers that have been a surprise…

  4. theblondbomber says: Oct 6, 2011 7:42 PM

    “As our nation is at war, it is important to ensure we maintain our commitment to the nation’s defense”

    … from some dudes living in caves. AMURRICA!

  5. dennis2488 says: Oct 6, 2011 7:43 PM

    the u.s. is declaring war on jacksonville? that won’t last long, assuming their defense is anything like the jaguars’.

  6. gtorlone says: Oct 6, 2011 7:43 PM

    Now there is an American. Regardless of whether or not you come back to the NFL, Eric, you’ve got a new fan in me.

  7. realnflmaster says: Oct 6, 2011 7:43 PM

    Baaaahhhhhhhh Sheep Baaaaahhhhh

  8. favreforever says: Oct 6, 2011 7:44 PM

    Eric spoke with Belichik before he left.

    “Sir! Running back, 3rd string, Kettani, requesting transfer to the Jaguars, sir!”.

  9. warvette says: Oct 6, 2011 7:46 PM

    our nation is at war? oh yeah…. on the middle class….

  10. cured76 says: Oct 6, 2011 7:46 PM

    We need more people like this soldier. Godspeed.

  11. ttommytom says: Oct 6, 2011 7:54 PM

    One person on a huge boat is not going to change a war. He would be better served recruiting people on weekends as there are many ways to serve this country.

    As far as what is fair, the average Academy grad would rather be at war than doing the recruiting. Future respect among peers and rank depend upon it.

    Thank You and come home safe.

  12. descendency says: Oct 6, 2011 7:57 PM

    He’d be a starter in Jacksonville.

  13. bhink73 says: Oct 6, 2011 8:00 PM

    Being a Persian golf vet (NAVY) during Desert Storm I can totally relate. As much as I love watching football on Sundays I love my country more. This guy has his priorites straight.

  14. jm1122 says: Oct 6, 2011 8:10 PM

    …we’ll continue to hear stories like this one until we fully end our wasteful military blunders in afghanistan & iraq…it’s pathetic to see a young man with his talents shipped off to risk so much in order to accomplish so little!

  15. blackqbwhiterb says: Oct 6, 2011 8:30 PM

    Godspeed, Ensign!!!!

  16. blackqbwhiterb says: Oct 6, 2011 8:31 PM

    Now listen, kid, outside the back gate of Pensacola Naval Air Station I remember this bar……

  17. tomtravis76 says: Oct 6, 2011 8:36 PM

    While it is ashame that the young man has to give up on one dream opportunity, he knew the commitment he was making by accepting the free education from the Naval Academy in retun for serving the country.
    If an opportunity comes up for him to play in the league, Bill will give him a shot once again.

  18. justanotherdummy says: Oct 6, 2011 8:37 PM

    Sail, Navy down the field, sails set toward the sky, we’ll never steer off course so Army you steer shy!

  19. toiletking says: Oct 6, 2011 8:44 PM

    I’d like to thank you for volunteering.

    Meanwhile, while you’re doing that, my children will be graduating from elite schools and going to work at either law firms and banks. Glad to be part of the 1%! :)

  20. tfbuckfutter says: Oct 6, 2011 8:50 PM

    “Way to Go ObaMa!” -Hank Williams Jr.

    Seriously though….duty calls, mean answer. Good luck soldier.

  21. tfbuckfutter says: Oct 6, 2011 8:51 PM

    Crud, that should have said “men” not “mean”

  22. kalispellmt says: Oct 6, 2011 8:55 PM

    ttommytom has the right idea. Use his popularity as a recruiting tool and let the man follow his dream.

    Godbless, soldier.

  23. kcrobert10 says: Oct 6, 2011 8:59 PM

    Sailor ,guys when ur in the navy were sailors not soldiers. Anywa y godspeed shipmate and anchors away my boys. Beat army!!!

  24. jessethegreat says: Oct 6, 2011 8:59 PM

    jm1122 says:
    Oct 6, 2011 8:10 PM
    …we’ll continue to hear stories like this one until we fully end our wasteful military blunders in afghanistan & iraq…it’s pathetic to see a young man with his talents shipped off to risk so much in order to accomplish so little!
    ————————————————
    So little huh? So little as to allow you the freedom to spew your drivel on here? Buck up. Be a real American and serve. I did. I respect your right to free speach, but do something to earn it.

  25. realitypolice says: Oct 6, 2011 9:01 PM

    @broncobillie:

    So what you are saying is that PFT needs to get it priorities straight and focus more on what is really important in life- football, and stop focusing on irrelevancies like a story about how our nation being at war has personally affected the career of someone trying to make it in the league.

    You’re right, dude, it’s PFT that has it’s priorities out of whack, not you.

  26. zippy33 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:05 PM

    Do what you have committed to do, and I pray you come back in one piece. You are admirable.

  27. romoscollarbone says: Oct 6, 2011 9:08 PM

    Why is everyone commending him for having his “priorities straight”?….unless priorities is slang for orders. The guy has no choice. you think he’d go active duty over being part of an NFL team?

  28. redbeardxxv says: Oct 6, 2011 9:11 PM

    Shame on all of you. This is about a young man who is being forced to give up his dream in order to serve his country. In other words, for YOU, and all you self centered pseudo-political jacka$$es can do is bring up the politics involved? This man has no say in Washington.
    Commend the man for doing what you were too chicken $hit to do, and then again for his resolve to return to duty instead of taking the OTH, BCD, or DD he could push for. If you don’t know that those abbreviations mean, there’s even more reason you should STFU. Go look it up. Then sit back and admire the irony that you should use a message board to freely blast a man who is currently actively defending your freedom to do so.
    To the man in question, Fair Winds and Following Seas. We hope to see you back in the NFL when you return. Thank you for your sacrifice.

  29. godofwine330 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:14 PM

    Anchors Away!

    As a 12 year Navy vet (not retired, but I got out to be home more) I understand that he has a job to do and that he signed a contract. They called him, so he’s got to go. It makes me wonder why athletes sign up to go to service academies, because this is the second time this has happened in 5 years. These players have to give up their dream because of something they signed up for at 17 or 18?

    I understand the contract thing, but only a few guys who play at service academies actually have the talent to be NFL players, so why not let the few who do live their dream, or at least be able to buy out their contracts. The Lions drafted a guy a few years ago and the Army said he could go if he got drafted, thinking no one would draft him. When someone did, they revoked it. Tell these athletes, all of them, that no matter how good they are, no matter how well they play, they will not be allowed to join the NFL, NBA, MLB or any other sport after their 4 years is up. Tell them that when they sign up, don’t dangle the carrot of possibility in front of them and snatch it away when it is finally within reach. I love my country, but they aren’t playing fair.

    I don’t like this one bit.
    – SK2 Navy Customs Battalion Quebec

  30. otis52gsh says: Oct 6, 2011 9:16 PM

    Thank god for young people like this. Come home safely young man.

  31. polarbear71 says: Oct 6, 2011 9:19 PM

    We await your return Eric….from Bears fans.

  32. dccowboy says: Oct 6, 2011 9:26 PM

    “Soldier’? Can you guys read? Kettani is a SAILOR! He’s in the NAVY.

    He has no choice, he has a commitment, he has to live up to it.

  33. bradwins says: Oct 6, 2011 10:05 PM

    What is the angle on this story from the haters? This must fit into their “Patriots are cheaters!!” worldview somehow. Maybe he is a spy for the Navy?

  34. spartyfi says: Oct 6, 2011 10:09 PM

    People have short memories. David Robinson had to sit out 2 years from the NBA and he wasn’t just some fringe player. And it was peacetime. It’s called a commitment and those of you that don’t get that are showing your true character, or lack thereof!

  35. lance19 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:12 PM

    Good luck young man!

    Now you’re a REAL Patriot!

  36. tilllman40 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:21 PM

    @toiletling ur name says it all. Dumbass

  37. Deb says: Oct 6, 2011 10:56 PM

    God bless Kettani and all those serving our country, protect them, and bring them home safely.

    But why, why, why is our nation still at war 10 years after 9/11, with Osama bin Laden dead and gone? Enough.

  38. eleventyeight says: Oct 6, 2011 11:31 PM

    The “Pro player exemption” generally only applies to guys who stand to make very, very high amounts of money and whose chances of doing so are imminently endangered by the years involved; some players may be permitted to “buy out” of a term of service if they become rich enough to create some kind of scholarship foundation.

    For instance- David Robinson received an early release because otherwise his six- or eight-year hitch could cause him to “age out” of the six-figure income range. I think he did create a foundation like the one I mentioned.

    Borderline guys, though, aren’t likely to get that “big break” and thus must serve their hitch.

    It’s the difference between a #1 draft pick and a practice squad guy.

  39. siknutty says: Oct 6, 2011 11:57 PM

    @toiletking

    Your son is going to be a crack head and your daughter is going to be a porn star.

    Enjoy living off of Daddy’s money a$$hole.

  40. wackyjag says: Oct 7, 2011 12:09 AM

    @dennis2488 says:
    Oct 6, 2011 7:43 PM
    the u.s. is declaring war on jacksonville? that won’t last long, assuming their defense is anything like the jaguars’.

    —Taking shots at Jax are we, since you dont know how to read and seem very uneducated Ill help you out a bit and let you know that the Jags are a top 10 defense through week 4and only team to hold Newton in check so far and held the the Saints to their lowest score (23) so far for the year…..

  41. toiletking says: Oct 7, 2011 12:20 AM

    tilllman40 says: Oct 6, 2011 10:21 PM

    @toiletling ur name says it all. DumbassActually, I make more

    Actually, I have more money than you. If you are so much smarter than me, why aren’t you rich?

  42. frankvzappa says: Oct 7, 2011 12:39 AM

    how can any of these ass-clowns actually believe they are serving their country instead of a bunch of corporatist fascist bankers attempts to enslave the world while they DESTROY this country? thanks for contributing to the end of America, dumbass

  43. myraspats says: Oct 7, 2011 12:58 AM

    Thank you, Eric Kettani. May you make it home safe and come back to the Pats – and start on Sundays!

  44. slvrnblk4lf says: Oct 7, 2011 1:03 AM

    @toiletking – You are a disgrace!

    I am a 10 year Navy Vet and I applaud this man. He knew what he was getting into and the commitment he signed up for, yet it is unfortunate he is a rare athlete that comes out of the Academy. He will make two sacrafices now: 1) Playing in the NFL, and 2) The MOST important, representing and defending your Country n the Armed Forces!

    Everyone should just say “Thank You”.

    Good on you Shipmate! Hit the golf courses in Mayport and Jax if you get the chance, and thank you for serving!

  45. packmanfan says: Oct 7, 2011 1:24 AM

    So the Navy would rather take a young man who is living his dream and put him at risk to be killed?
    Here he is, safe from the harms of war and the military wants to take him away and possibly put him in a far more dangerous situation from the gridiron into wars based on lies that have nothing to do with the safety of America.
    It’s propaganda, lies, and just unfairness all around.

  46. tatum064 says: Oct 7, 2011 3:26 AM

    I’m happy to serve it, i’m even happier knowing i’m making elite defense contractors wealthier, and possibly not having my pension there for me when I retire.

    Good motive, question your conscience and learn the facts. Why serve something that is betraying its own Constitution?

    You have a choice, your life is more than something you have signed as are the lives of others you may kill.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2011/10/05/us/war-attitudes/index.html

    being a real American, is knowing the real facts and the greatest Patriotism is dissent.

  47. tatum064 says: Oct 7, 2011 3:29 AM

    “and those of you that don’t get that are showing your true character, or lack thereof!”

    translation; I have never heard of My Lai Massacre, Abu Gharib or war orphaned, crippled children. My feelings and only my government count especially since i know nothing of America’s involvement in destabilizing over 30 countries from 1953-1974, many of which had war crimes perpetrated by America’s “allied” puppet governments.

  48. seanb20124 says: Oct 7, 2011 6:42 AM

    Dying for Bush and Cheyney is so not worth it. Those 2 fools have destroyed a once great nation all in the name of Halliburton!! SMH

  49. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 7, 2011 7:20 AM

    Old men talking and young men dieing.
    I think the 12 year Navy Vet above has it right.
    That’s what comes with a free college education from the academy though… come home safe.

  50. nflofficeadmin says: Oct 7, 2011 7:24 AM

    Is our freedom at risk or foreign oil reserves at risk?.. I keep getting that part messed up..

  51. TheWizard says: Oct 7, 2011 7:56 AM

    Dying for Bush and Cheyney is so not worth it.

    You do know they’re not calling the shots anymore, right?

  52. mack2x says: Oct 7, 2011 9:40 AM

    toiletking-“Actually, I have more money than you. If you are so much smarter than me, why aren’t you rich?”

    Any idiot that brags about how rich they are, usually aren’t rich at all; or at least not the one making the money. (Thanks for the trust fund Daddy!!)

  53. TheDPR says: Oct 7, 2011 9:50 AM

    I admire and respect the kid.
    I appreciate his service.

    Then again, the “we’re at war” excuse for denying Eric Kettani’s request to remain with the Patriots doesn’t hold much water with me. Wouldn’t we all be better served by the Navy activating a guy who is currently unemployed (there are bound to be many in this economy) than to take a gainfully employed guy away from his job?

    Common sense has been lacking in Washington for decades, so I guess it’s too much to ask.

  54. jm1122 says: Oct 7, 2011 1:22 PM

    jm1122 says:
    Oct 6, 2011 8:10 PM
    …we’ll continue to hear stories like this one until we fully end our wasteful military blunders in afghanistan & iraq…it’s pathetic to see a young man with his talents shipped off to risk so much in order to accomplish so little!
    ————————————————
    jessethegreat says:
    So little huh? So little as to allow you the freedom to spew your drivel on here? Buck up. Be a real American and serve. I did. I respect your right to free speach, but do something to earn it.
    ————————————————
    jm1122 says:
    …correct so very little…what have we accomplished in iraq & afghanistan that was worth the lives of thousands of military personnel, permanent disabilities to tens of thousands more, and literally over a trillion dollars?!?…that’s right, very little…
    …save your cliches about “freedom” and “being a real american” for other gullible people such as yourself…but you feel free to head on back to iraq or afghanistan and continue your fight against those forces over there trying to take all our “freedom” to post on internet…

  55. solidmarine says: Oct 7, 2011 1:29 PM

    Listening to civilians wax poetic on the evils of the military would be sad if it wasn’t so laughable. But I’ll go ahead and let John Stuart Mill do my speaking for me.

    “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

  56. jm1122 says: Oct 7, 2011 2:24 PM

    solidmarine says:

    “Listening to civilians wax poetic on the evils of the military would be sad if it wasn’t so laughable. But I’ll go ahead and let John Stuart Mill do my speaking for me.”

    jm1122 replys:
    …ha ha…it sounds like you’ve been having others do your speaking for you for far too long…with some practice, maybe even you could “wax poetic” with actual thoughts of your own…
    …and “never forget” that it’s those very “civilians” who provide the incredible resources for every single move that the military makes…without us civilians footing the bill, there would be no u.s. military!

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