Patriots notebook: Outspoken Martellus Bennett returns to lineup

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He could play on Sunday against the Denver Broncos, adding another twist to the story after Bennett said he decided on surgery while with the Packers.

"I got criticism from all of my former organizations, so (expletive), at some point it's like I'm rubber and you're glue, anything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you", Bennett said. "Right now I'm just like, 'F-k it, '" when talking about what went through his mind when things shifted from him potentially missing the season to electing to play.

"I think he knows how to talk to me too", Bennett said, "so I'm like, 'All right, I'll go out there.' Next thing you know I'm back on the plane five hours to Denver".

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During the bye week after the October 22 loss to New Orleans, Bennett also posted a message on Instagram that indicated that he was contemplating retirement. Waived last week by the Packers, Bennett was passed over by other teams and landed with, miracle of miracles, the Patriots - and managed to practice with the team Thursday and Friday.

"It's not about could you play, it's should you play", Bennett said after the game. "This was all about money".

Let's begin with why Bennett felt he could play with the Patriots if he wanted surgery as a member of the Packers, because he failed to fully explain that in his now-infamous Instagram rant.

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Bennett was ready to throw in the towel on his 2017 season due to a torn rotator cuff, but a change of scenery has returned him to Bill Belichick's lineup. In a locker room where players typically respond to most questions with a variation of "We're just trying to do what the coaches tell us to do" or "We're just trying to get better every single day", Bennett is a breath of fresh air. But current or former Packers took to social media to defend McKenzie.

Nelson said McKenzie was cautious with injuries and "always puts the player's health before the team". "He's done surgery on me twice, and I trust him and his opinion implicitly", Rodgers wrote on Instagram.

So how did we return to a world where Tom Brady is slinging passes to Martellus Bennett? "They're the ones that go out and make the plays, and they did it (last night)".

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Here's a brief recap of what has happened to the Patriots tight end over the past week. That decision will revolve around when the Packers first knew about Bennett's shoulder injury.

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