The New England Patriots placed Jeff Demps on injured reserve last year after their final preseason game, prematurely ending his rookie campaign before it ever officially began. While Demps still wants to return to football in 2013, he appears to be focused on his track and field career at this point, clouding his future in Foxborough.
In a recent interview, Demps said he would like to be back with Patriots after his track and field season ends, putting his return date somewhere around midseason. What will he tell head coach Bill Belichick?
"Listen coach, I want to do both, but in order for me to get to where I want to be on the track and field side, it'll take a full year of preparation. And after the season, if you guys are willing to let me come back, you know, probably midseason, and work out and train and get ready for the season, I'll be able to do that. If not, then I guess I'll just focus on running."
Demps expects to miss three-to-five games while finishing up track. Leon Washington was recently signed by New England, so he would presumably fill the kick return duties until Demps returns. Even at that point, there's no telling what kind of impact he can make.
Belichick was asked about Demps' situation, and of course he was as insightful as ever. "We look at each player individually," he said, talking about working around the track schedule. Well, was it surprising to hear Demps wants to focus on track? "Well, again, we'll just deal with each player individually." Thanks, Bill.
We may have seen the last of Demps in a Patriots uniform.