FOXBORO, MA — Former first-round draft choice Andy Katzenmoyer will miss the 2001 season after Patriots head coach Bill Belichick announced Wednesday that he will have another surgical procedure on his neck within the next few days. He will then be placed on injured reserve which will keep him out for the entire season.
Belichick said that he spoke to the linebacker Tuesday and that the doctors apparently felt it was the best course of action.
“I spoke with Andy Katzenmoyer yesterday and the doctors have convened on this,” said Belichick Wednesday. “Andy is going to have surgery on his neck in the near future and then he’ll most likely be placed on injured reserve as well, when that occurs. Expectations are that he’ll have full recovery and be back for the 2002 season. I think that’s what the expectations are from everyone.
“The surgery that he had the last time didn’t quite take care of it, and the expectations are that this will.”
The loss of Katzenmoyer isn’t expected to change New England’s preparation for the season. The team added linebackers Mike Vrabel, Bryan Cox, and Roman Phifer during the offseason adding depth at that position. Belichick also said that they’ve already moved forward following Katzenmoyer walking out of camp last month.
“When Andy wasn’t out on the field in July, whenever that was, the 22nd or somewhere back in there, we were working without him then,” said Belichick. “We’ve brought in a couple of players that in one way or another factor into the depth at that position. So we have kind of been without him since then and nothing has changed from yesterday to today as far as that goes.”
“Certainly we would like to have Andy out on the field. We’d like to have been working with him all the way through camp, but that didn’t work out. So we have already kind of been in the process of moving along and we’ll continue that process.
Katzenmoyer last played football on October 22, 2000 at Indianapolis, and when he does finally return in 2002 he’ll have been out of football for nearly two years. The procedure he had undergone last year to repair a bulging disc had been considered successful, and Belichick had gone into training camp expecting to have him on the field. But unfortunately things didn’t work out, and now Belichick is hoping that when next year comes around Katzenmoyer is ready to return.
“I think Andy and the medical staff and all of us went into camp this year expecting that his problem was resolved,” said Belichick. “As it turned out it wasn’t. So when we started having contact and he had some further problems, then it was readdressed.”
“Rest assured that the question of has been asked: Are we going to be having the same conversation again at some later point in time, next August or next July? That question has been asked very specifically and I feel confident and the doctors feel confident that this will take care of it.”
“I think that everybody concludes that this is a proper step to take at this time.”
KLEMM AT LT
Belichick said on Wednesday that Adrian Klemm will hopefully get playing time at left tackle this Saturday night against Tampa Bay. “That’s where we’d like to work him. Again, a little bit like Andy [Katzenmoyer]’s situation, we haven’t had him there so we have had to work other people, but we’d still like to work Adrian at that spot.”……..Ray Hill underwent surgery on his knee on Tuesday and is expected to be placed on injured reserve shortly…….Belichick said he’s waiting for Robert Edwards to begin practicing again before he’ll get an opportunity to play, and that includes this week as well, “I’d say [the chances of him playing are] less than 50-50. I think Robert is getting better. I think physically he is close to being through his groin injury, but I don’t think that he’s quite there yet.”
Posted Under: 2001 Patriots Preseason
Tags: 2001 Patriots Injuries 2001 Patriots Season Andy Katzenmoyer Bill Belichick New England Patriots