Bledsoe's Organs Not Damaged

Wednesday, September 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BOSTON (AP) _ Drew Bledsoe might be on the sidelines for the New England Patriots this week. He won't be playing, though.

The quarterback will miss at least two weeks because of a hit from Jets linebacker Mo Lewis, but coach Bill Belichick said Tuesday he might use Bledsoe to help backup Tom Brady prepare for the Indianapolis Colts.

``When Drew gets out (of the hospital), we'll evaluate that situation based on how he's feeling and what he can do,'' Belichick said. ``I wouldn't be surprised at all if he is in some way able to assist us in our preparations. But I think until he is released and gets back here, we'll wait to decide on that.''

Bledsoe could be released as soon as Wednesday from Massachusetts General Hospital, where he's being treated for internal bleeding. The good news for the Patriots is that there was no damage to Bledsoe's internal organs which could have required season-ending surgery.

``There's no damage that's been detected to any internal organ or ribs or anything like that, or lungs,'' Belichick said.

Bledsoe was injured when Lewis hit him full-speed in the fourth quarter of New York's 10-3 victory on Sunday. Although Bledsoe played one more series, he was taken to the hospital when he became uncomfortable 45 minutes after the game.

He spent Sunday night in intensive care, though Belichick said it might have been because all the standard beds in the hospital were full. By the time Belichick visited him on Monday, Bledsoe was in a standard room.

``He was in relatively good spirits and looked a lot better than he did the other night,'' the coach said.

Belichick said he did not know how long Bledsoe will be out, but that he doesn't expect him back in the next two weeks. ``I don't think there is any chance he would play this week and probably not the following week,'' Belichick said.

The greatest damage appeared to be a sheared blood vessel that filled his left chest cavity with blood.

``I go by what the doctors tell me. When they're concerned, I'm concerned,'' Belichick said. ``They were right there the whole time, they were on top of the situation. I felt like he was getting good care.

``Was I concerned? Yeah, sure. But nothing was ever implicated that it was going to be (major). They just didn't know what it was and when they found out what it was they started treating it.''

Bledsoe's agent, David Dunn, did not return a call seeking comment.

Brady, who leapfrogged over the more senior Damon Huard in training camp to become the No. 2 quarterback, will start Sunday against Indianapolis in Foxboro. Belichick said it was possible the team would sign another quarterback, but he would wait until he knew how long Bledsoe would be out.

Brady played at Michigan and was selected in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. He threw three passes last season, completing one.