Michael Bennett has been suspended by the New England Patriots for one week for conduct detrimental to the team, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Giardi. Bennett, an 11-year veteran who is in the midst of his first season with the Patriots, was not present at Tuesday's practice. It also doesn't appear that Bennett will be participating in New England's Week 8 road game against the New York Jets on "Monday Night Football."
Bennett, during an interview with ESPN's Jordan Schultz, said that his suspension is due to a "philosophical disagreement" with Patriots defensive line coach, Bret Bielema.
"On Friday, I had a philosophical disagreement with my position coach that has led to my suspension," Bennett said. "I apologize to my teammates for any distraction this may have caused."
Bennett, a three time Pro Bowler during his final three seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, has one start while appearing in each of the Patriots' first six games of the regular season. Bennett, who is currently behind John Simon on New England's depth chart, has 2.5 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss this season. He recorded one sack and one tackle for loss in the Patriots' first win over the Jets back in Week 3.
With Bennett in the fold, the Patriots currently boast the league's top ranked scoring defense, allowing just 8 points per game. New England is also No. 1 in the NFL in fewest passing yards (966) and passing touchdowns (1) allowed heading into their Week 7 game against the Jets. The Patriots have also been stout at stopping the run, as they are No. 3 in the league in rushing yards (442) and rushing touchdowns (3) allowed.
Bennett won a Super Bowl as a member of Seattle's "Legion of Boom" defense at the end of the 2013 season. He was also a member of the Seahawks' team that was upset by the Patriots in the following year's Super Bowl. Bennett recorded 9.0 sacks in 2018 -- his only season with the Philadelphia Eagles -- before signing with the Patriots this offseason.
While they likely won't have Bennett for next week's game, the Patriots are a 10-point favorite to beat the Jets, who recorded their first win on Sunday after upsetting the visiting Dallas Cowboys. With Bennett out, rookie pass rusher Chase Winovich, who is second on the team with four sacks, is expected to receive more playing time against the Jets.