Call it irony that Jonathan Fanene is a member of the New England Patriots.
It started back in 2010, when Fanene was due to have a breakout season. He had just come off the best season of his career in 2009 16 games, 10 starts, 36 combined tackles, six sacks, and one interception and was due a new contract at the end of this one.
Unfortunately for Fanene, it ended almost as soon as it began.
The Bengals played the Patriots in Week 1 of the regular season. It was early in the second quarter when Tom Brady dropped back looking for Randy Moss deep down the sideline. Fanene, though, was trying to get to Brady first but had to get past Matt Light. He made his move, his last one of the game.
I remember it was like the third series, Fanene said. I was going against Matt Light. When I came around the corner I felt something strained. I knew something was wrong, so I just stopped and I came out.
It was his hamstring. Fanene didnt return to that game, or any game, until Week 7 against the Falcons, where he re-aggravated the same injury. Three weeks later, he landed on the IR, his season over.
Because of the injury, Fanene didnt get a ton of offers after the season, and ended up signing back with the Bengals on a one-year deal. After a healthy season, but one in which his playing time was reduced, Fanene found a new home with the very same team that essentially ruined his 2010 campaign, the Patriots.
Its funny. I never expected to be here, Fanene said. But like I said, Im going to be the best I can be to help out and win games this year.