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Carter out for the season

By Shalise Manza Young
Globe Staff / December 20, 2011
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Patriots defensive end Andre Carter will be placed on injured reserve, ending his season, a league source confirmed last night.

Carter injured his left quadriceps on the final play of the first quarter of Sunday’s 41-23 win in Denver and will require surgery.

The 11-year veteran took to Twitter last night, tweeting, “God is great. Thank you for showing me and my family support this season. It’s been a blast. Wouldn’t change it for anything.’’

Carter arrived in New England this season as a free agent signee. He had asked the Redskins to release him before the lockout began earlier in the year; at almost 32 and more than a decade into his NFL career, he didn’t want to continue playing outside linebacker in the 3-4 system Washington switched to before the 2010 season.

The Redskins granted his request, and the split was amicable. He signed with New England in July.

Carter quickly became the Patriots’ most consistent pass rusher - he had 10 sacks and was credited with 22 quarterback hits - and was also very good against the run.

Coach Bill Belichick praised Carter, noting his professionalism, leadership, work ethic, physical conditioning, and even his upbringing. Early in his career, Belichick coached Carter’s father, Ruben, in Denver.

With Carter on the shelf, the Patriots could turn to rookie Markell Carter, who is on the practice squad.

Asked about Markell Carter during his weekly conference call, director of player personnel Nick Caserio said, “We’ll do what we do every week - we’ll take inventory of what’s available league-wide, what’s available on the street, look at our situation, and then do what feels best for the football team like we always do.’’

Markell Carter, a sixth-round draft pick this year, recently got a big bump in pay. According to NFL Players’ Association records, his base salary is now $306,000 - more than three times the standard for practice squad players. It’s also a sign the Patriots want to keep him around, and perhaps that another team tried to sign him away.

It really rated

Sunday’s matchup between the Patriots and Broncos - or Tom Brady vs. Tim Tebow if you work in promotions - was so desirable CBS and NBC battled over the right to air the game last week. The reason was simple: Ratings were certain to be enormous.

NBC lost its bid to “flex’’ the game into prime time, CBS retained it in the 4:15 p.m. window, and yesterday the predictions of enormous Nielsen ratings were confirmed.

CBS received a 19.5 overnight rating for the Patriots’ 41-23 victory, as first reported by the Sports Business Journal. The game was available in more markets than any other CBS has aired this season.

It is the network’s highest regular-season overnight rating since the Patriots’ 24-20 win over the Colts Nov. 4, 2007. Both teams entered that game undefeated.

In the Boston market, the Patriots earned a 42 overnight rating and a 68 share, according to an industry source. Both numbers are expected to rise once Nielsen announces the final household figures later in the week.

According to the Denver Post, the game pulled a 40.6 rating and 74 share in the Denver market.

It could end up the second-highest rated game locally in Patriots history. Tops on the list is the Dec. 29, 2007, matchup between the Patriots and Giants. The Patriots’ 38-35 victory, which completed a 16-0 regular season, earned a 50.10 household rating.

This hit hard

Brady was drilled Sunday by the Broncos’ Elvis Dumervil. Dumervil came untouched off Brady’s right side, hitting Brady at full speed, lifting him off his feet as he slammed him to the turf.

What was impressive was that Brady held onto the ball, and that he bounced right back up.

But he was sore yesterday morning.

“I’m feeling that one this morning a little bit; more so than usual,’’ Brady said during his weekly contractually obligated appearance on WEEI, adding that he never saw Dumervil coming. “I was staring at the other side of the field, pretty locked into the guy I was throwing to. My peripheral vision didn’t really kick in there, so believe me, I wish I would have saw him. I would have braced myself a little bit.’’

As for how he popped up so quickly, Brady said he was taught that when a quarterback gets hit, he should be the first one up, faster than the player who hit him.

Focus on Dolphins

Caserio was asked if the five-year extension the team agreed to with linebacker Jerod Mayo means that negotiations with receiver Wes Welker, who is in the final months of his contract, have stalled. “Any discussions that we have regarding players and contractual situations we keep between [player] representatives and ourselves,’’ Caserio said. “Right now, we’re focused on getting ready for the Miami Dolphins. Coming off a game, [we’ll] make the corrections from that game and we’ll move forward and get ready for Miami this week. That’s what we’re focused on.’’ . . . Tight end Aaron Hernandez started a Twitter account (@AaronHernandez), with receiver Chad Ochocinco, the king of social media among pro athletes, getting credit for bringing him on board. In just a few hours, with some help from Ochocinco, Hernandez had approximately 20,000 followers.

Chad Finn of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Shalise Manza Young can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @shalisemyoung.

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