Stop us if you’ve heard this one before.
There’s an injured Patriots player. And coach Bill Belichick isn’t saying anything more about the situation than he absolutely has to.
Punter Ryan Allen suffered a shoulder injury on Saturday against the Colts. And Belichick would give no update on Allen during a Tuesday conference call with the media, explaining (via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com) that the team will issue its injury report on Wednesday, when required.
At that point, the only information provided will be whether Allen practiced, whether he was limited, and the specific body part that is injured. We won’t get any more than that until Friday, when a label is applied to describe Allen’s availability for the game.
Belichick also was mum about alternatives. He didn’t rule out signing a free-agent as late as Friday or asking Stephen Gostkowski to continue kicking and punting.
The failure to have an early-week Gong Show tryout for punters suggests that optimism currently exists that Allen will be able to play.
Some have suggested that the Patriots could bring back former New England punter Zoltan Mesko. However, he currently is a member of the Bengals. Even if the Bengals would be inclined to release his rights, rosters lock upon conclusion of each team’s season, preventing any player from being released until the day after the Super Bowl.