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Terrance Knighton Uncertain Of Role On Patriots After Not Playing Vs. Panthers

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Terrance Knighton signed with the Patriots early in the offseason, and he was expected to be a key player in the middle of the team's defensive line.

Yet on Friday night, in the third preseason game of the summer, Knighton wasn't a player at all.

The 30-year-old veteran of seven NFL seasons found himself stuck on the sidelines all night, unused by Bill Belichick against the Carolina Panthers.

Knighton said after the game that he entered the stadium expecting to play.

"I'm 100 percent healthy. Like I said, I prepared myself to play a lot of football tonight, and it didn't happen. It is what it is," Knighton calmly told reporters at his locker after the 19-17 Patriots win. "I'm not asking why or anything. I'm just going to show up to work tomorrow and take it a day at a time."

Knighton's been around, and he hasn't really been overly impressive throughout camp, so he knows that not playing in the game that's considered the real tune-up for the regular season is not a good sign for his spot on the roster.

"It's disappointing just because I've played a lot of ball in this league, seen a lot of things, but I'm not going to make too much of it. It is what it is," he said. "And whatever happens happens. If I'm here, I'm here. If I'm not, I'm not. And, you know, I'm just taking it a day at a time really."

Knighton said he wanted to play. Instead, he watched as the starters held Cam Newton and Co. to three points through three quarters of football.

Even if his future doesn't turn out to be with New England, Knighton remains confident that he'll be playing in the NFL.

"I have faith in my ability," he said. "I have faith in the coaching staff decision, whatever the decision was. I'm not looking for an explanation or anything. Just show up to work tomorrow, and I've still got a lot of ball left in me. So it is what it is."

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