Patriots notebook

Monster job: Seau is newest return man

It’s time for Junior Seau to leave the ice and return to a more familiar arena - Gillette Stadium. It’s time for Junior Seau to leave the ice and return to a more familiar arena - Gillette Stadium. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff
By Michael Vega
Globe Staff / October 14, 2009

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He has taken on a number of interesting sports jobs for his Versus TV show, which will debut Dec. 2.

He has been a member of Scott Dixon’s pit crew, Natalie Gulbis’s caddie, a Los Angeles Dodgers bat boy, an equipment manager with the Washington Capitals, a member of the bull gang at TD Garden, and a rodeo clown on the Pro Bull Riders tour, getting first-hand knowledge of what it’s like to be bulldozed by a rip-snorting Brahma.

But the only sports job that Junior Seau was really meant to have was NFL linebacker.

And Versus reported yesterday that the 40-year-old Seau had signed a contract with the Patriots to play a 20th NFL season, although the team did not announce the transaction or make a corresponding move to make room on the 53-man roster.

“I’m very fortunate and honored to be involved with two class organizations - the New England Patriots and Versus,’’ said Seau in a press release. “I want to thank the management of both for making my return to the NFL with the New England Patriots a reality.’’

While coach Bill Belichick declined to confirm the signing, saying, “We don’t have anything to say about it,’’ CEO and chairman Robert Kraft seemed to indicate it was only a formality.

Asked at the league meetings in Boston if Seau was a Patriot again, Kraft said, “I hope he is. At some point he will be.’’

Asked if Seau ranked as one of his favorite players, Kraft said, “Oh yeah, he gave a speech to our group. He gives speeches to the players in the locker room and there aren’t many coaches that could inspire and motivate other players. He is a unique individual with a unique physical frame and unique mental acumen. I’d love to have him part of our team for as long as he wants to be.’’

Seau, who came out of retirement to play four games for the Patriots last season, would be on his fourth tour in Foxborough. He played 11 games in 2006 before suffering an arm injury, and played all 16 games in 2007.

Patriots player personnel director Nick Caserio confirmed only that the team had worked out Seau recently and had him take a physical.

“The reality is, we’re just trying to see where the player’s level of physical conditioning may be and whether he’s in good enough shape to make it through a practice,’’ Caserio said. “He looked like he’s kept himself in shape.’’

Light damage
Patriots left tackle Matt Light, who injured his right leg in Sunday’s loss to the Broncos, has no significant ligament damage in his knee or ankle, according to a Twitter report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Light was injured on the first play of the fourth quarter, an 11-yard pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker. He was helped off the field, retreated to the locker room, and did not return. He was spotted after the game wearing a large knee brace and seen Monday at Gillette Stadium on crutches.

If Light is unable to go against the Titans Sunday, Sebastian Vollmer, a 6-foot-8-inch, 315-pound rookie from the University of Houston via Kaarst, Germany, would likely be called upon, as he was in Denver.

“He’s a pretty accomplished player at his position for a rookie,’’ Belichick said. “Again, still has a long way to go, but considering everything, he is probably a lot further along than maybe what we thought he would be when he first got here. He’s worked hard and he’s continued to improve. He’s definitely headed in the right direction.’’

Tough talk
The Titans remained one of four winless teams after a 31-9 setback against the Colts left them at 0-5. But to hear Belichick describe them, the Titans sounded more like a 5-0 team. “I still see the Titans as a real good football team,’’ he said. “I have a lot of respect for them and what they do. I think the biggest things that stand out against them is their toughness, the fact that they run the ball, play the run, cover kicks as well as they do; that speaks to the toughness of their football team right there.’’

Christopher L. Gasper of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Michael Vega can be reached at

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