FOXBORO -- Bill Belichick said Monday that Albert Haynesworth, the 2008 NFL Defensive Player of the Year and one of the most powerful players in the league, sat out the final 24 minutes of Sunday's game because his spot in the defensive tackle rotation never came up. "We had a lot of defensive linemen active so they played in different rotations," Belichick said when asked where Haynesworth disappeared to after a 10-yard Brandon Jacobs touchdown run. "Vince (Wilfork) is a guy, obviously, that we don't want off the field but the rest of those guys they can't all play. One guy plays for a while then somebody else plays and they rotate."Asked if Haynesworth's idle status was injury or performance-related, Belichick said, "It was rotation related."His number never came up once in more than aquarter-and-a-half including first-and-goal from the Patriots' 2 in the third-quarter and first-and-goal at the 1 in the final minute?"No," said Belichick. To call that unusual would be an understatement. To believe it on face value would be naive. There's been talk Monday of a sideline dustup between Haynesworth and defensive line coach Pepper Johnson that needed to be broken up by Jerod Mayo and Bill Belichick. That incident hasn't been confirmed. Asked about it, Belichick said,"Whatever we talk about as a team during the game or in meetings is between the players and coaches."On the bright side, Haynesworth has as many receptions in the past three games as Chad Ochocinco.
Complete reaction from our Comcast SportsNet crew on the New England Patriots' loss to the Denver Broncos and Rob Gronkowski being carted off the field in the fourth quarter.