FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick made it clear on Friday that he will continue to stand behind the work of Dr. Thomas Gill. The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the team doctor this week on behalf of former Patriots defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene.
Though Belichick wasn't asked about the situation, his point was unmistakeable.
"Following up on a good spring that we had, I feel like we have a lot of players that worked really hard, that are obviously in real good condition, that worked hard in this last month to really be ready to go during training camp. We had a number of guys that were working through various injuries and situations in the spring, and I think that Dr. Gill and [head trainer] Jim Whalen, and their respective staffs, have done an excellent job bringing those guys around. Those players have made a lot of progress."
New England released Fanene last August for “failure to disclose physical condition” and tried to recover what it could of the player's $3.85 million signing bonus. Belichick and Gill both testified against Fanene during the hearing.
The case's arbitrator has not yet ruled on how much, if any, of the $2.5 million already paid the team can get back. A favorable outcome would also grant the Patriots refusal to pay the remainder.