By: Ian Logue/
September 17, 2003

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FOXBORO, MA -- When it comes to linebacker Roosevelt Colvin's injury, there's one thing you can be sure of.

He's not going to play this week.

The only reason anyone will know that is because he's listed on the injury report as "Out". As far as how long this status will last, your guess is as good as anyone's. Sticking to his "mum's the word" policy Bill Belichick isn't going to give you even the slightest clue of what type of injury a player has, or how long that player will be out.

"I don't know exactly how long he will be out," Belichick told the media on Wednesday when referring to Colvin. "He will not play this week."

It's apparent that if a player has a scratch or if they're suffering from a major injury, the coach's demeanor will always be the same.

He'll claim he knows nothing, nor does he want to know anything.

I remember talking to Larry Whigham a couple of years ago and having him tell me, "Coach doesn't want us talking about injuries. The only thing I can tell you is I'm working to get back and hoping to be back in the line-up soon."

Thanks Larry, that's very informative. You're limping so there's obviously something wrong. Is it your knee, hamstring, groin, give me something to go on?

Larry laughing, "I'm getting better each day, hopefully I'll be back in the line-up soon."

Sigh. O.K. Larry. Hope to see you back soon.

It's simple, some coaches will let you in on the status of a player, others feel it compromises a potential advantage. These days in the NFL if any information can be concealed and can give a team an advantage, a coach will do it.

Look at Mike Shanahan who revealed that he lied about quarterback Jake Plummer's injury, calling a separated shoulder a concussion. The reason? To prevent the other team from stacking the line and forcing him to use that injured shoulder to throw on every down.

If the NFL fines him, Shanahan will likely pay it without giving it another thought. His team won and if I were him I would have done the exact same thing.

Meanwhile Belichick apparently feels that any team that could potentially be playing the Patriots in the upcoming weeks will still need to draw their game plan up with the idea that Colvin could be in the line-up, because he's not interested in letting anyone know how long his veteran linebacker may be sidelined for.

Looking for a timetable? Not a chance.

"What do you want me to tell you?," Belichick told the media on Wednesday. "It could be six weeks. It could be 12 weeks. It could be three weeks. It could be eight weeks. Take whichever one you want."

"That is why they are doing more tests. He won't play this week. I could make something up for you if you want me to and then we will change it around next week."

A reporter then felt Belichick was being a bit vague about Colvin's injury and pressed him for more of a definite answer.

"If I had a definitive answer, I would tell you," replied Belichick. "With some injuries, there are different options on how you want to handle them. If a guy breaks a bone, then you cast it and it heals like most bones do. It takes a certain amount of time. Other injuries, there are other options. You can let it heal. You can do surgery. You can try to rehab it in different ways. Depending on what you decide to do, then you have a better idea and that decision hasn't been made yet."

When asked, "Do the doctor's know what it is, a dislocation, a pulled tendon or a hip flexor?"

"Those are all good questions but I don't know the answer to any of those," said Belichick.

So the doctors don't tell you what the specific injury is?

"It doesn't really make any difference to me," said Belichick. "I don't know a hip flexor from a tendon from a dislocation from a separation or anything else."

"I am not a doctor."

Yes Bill, we're obviously aware of that fact.

"I don't know what any of that stuff means. You tell me how long the guy is going to be out or what we can do with him and that is what we will do."

It's pretty amazing that you are comfortable paying a player millions of dollars and don't know what's going on with him.

But ultimately let's not kid anyone. Belichick is completely aware and just won't reveal what the story is. It's a policy of Belichick's that will never change, regardless of how much anyone decides to press him.

Do you blame him? Does it give his team a competitive advantage? It's tough to say. But for now one thing is certain.

Colvin won't be in the line-up this week. For how long after this week is anyone's guess.

In the meantime one can only hope Colvin's injury isn't too serious and that he's back in the line-up soon.

One last shot, "When do you think you will be able to make a long-term decision on Roosevelt?"

"Whenever I know," replied Belichick.

"Is it possible it could be this week?" he was asked.

"Sure that is possible. Yes."

Sigh….we'll see you next week Roosevelt. Hopefully.