New Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett reportedly has torn rotator cuff, torn labrum

It was certainly shocking when the Packers cut Martellus Bennett earlier this week, but the least-surprising development to follow was that Bennett, who played in New England last season, was claimed by the Patriots.

Green Bay parted ways with Bennett with a failure to disclose an injury designation, and according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the tight end has been playing with a torn rotator cuff and torn labrum.

Bennett was at the Patriots' practice on Friday.

Also on Friday, Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that surgery was an option for Bennett before he was released.

"I'm not going to get into the Patriots claiming Marty, I'll just reiterate what I said yesterday: I just know what the facts are and how the timeline came about," McCarthy said. "I talked to him Tuesday after practice and he [had] a shoulder concern injury. I advised him to get the second opinions. He did that and he went to a number of them.

"The last medical conversation I was involved with in regards to Marty, they were talking about scheduling surgery. After that, then you have the termination and then the claim. I really don't have any comments on that. I've answered the question for the last time, respectfully."

Bennett's return to New England is the exclamation point on a strange two weeks in which the tight end said during the team's Week 8 bye that he would probably retire at the end of the season.  Bennett practiced just once after the bye due to a shoulder injury the Packers apparently didn't know about. He didn't play in Week 9 against the Lions and before he was waived, wasn't expected to suit up against the Bears on Sunday. 

On Thursday, McCarthy was asked if Bennett's behavior might be related suddenly wanting out of Green Bay now that Aaron Rodgers has been sidelined -- possibly for the season -- with a shoulder injury of his own.

"Well, I mean, you can't deny the facts of your timeline and how everything went down," McCarthy said, via "I mean, really, to tie all that together, you're asking me to get inside somebody else's feelings, conversation, more on a personal level. I think this all started obviously coming out of the bye week. Everything leading up to that, I can't really comment on it. And then we went down this injury path, and then here we are today. So, I mean, it'd be all speculation."

As it stands, the Patriots have picked up the three-year, $21 million deal Bennett signed with the Packers in the offseason. If New England chooses not to pick up the $2 million bonus due Bennett early in the 2018 league year, he would again become a free agent.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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