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Bill Belichick Pushes Back On Stephon Gilmore's Injury Complaint

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Last week, Stephon Gilmore told the media that he has some lingering resentment toward the Patriots regarding the way his quadriceps injury was handled. On Monday morning, Bill Belichick pushed back against Gilmore's complaint ... and he had a good point.

Speaking with The Greg Hill Show on WEEI, Belichick was asked if he had any insight to add to Gilmore's comments.

"No not really. Surprised to hear him say that," Belichick said. "Because we had several meetings and we laid out a plan on how he would rehab once he came back to the training camp. Of course, he wasn't here all spring, so we really didn't have any idea where he was. But, when he came back, we had several meetings and talked about that. So you'd have to ask him."

The key line in that response, in case you missed it, was this: "Of course, he wasn't here all spring, so we really didn't have any idea where he was."

Belichick was referring to Gilmore's absence from both the optional and mandatory practice sessions throughout the spring. At the time that Gilmore didn't show up to mandatory minicamp, Belichick covered for the player, throwing out excuses of weather and travel arrangements. Gilmore, though, never showed. And when he arrived for training camp in the summer, he was promptly placed on the physically unable to perform list, where he remained until the team traded him to Carolina last month.

Perhaps Gilmore's issues stemmed from that placement on the PUP list, but to Belichick's point, the Patriots didn't have much of an opportunity to learn about Gilmore's recovery or work with him to monitor progress from January through July.

Last week, Gilmore took some time to meet with the New England media on a conference call, and he vaguely referred to issues with the way the Patriots handled his recovery from a torn quad at the end of last season.

"I just didn't like how they handled my situation, my injury," Gilmore said. "A lot went on with that I didn't agree with."

Of course, football is a business, and Gilmore's primary issue was likely his contract. Perhaps he believed the fans might prefer hearing something about injury treatment over hearing about a contract dispute.

Whatever the case may be, Belichick's reminder that Gilmore wasn't present in Foxboro for the Patriots to have anything to do with his rehab from surgery was a solid reality check for this situation.

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