FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The New England Patriots released defensive tackle Kyle Love on Wednesday after he was diagnosed with diabetes.
Love had lost about 20 pounds before receiving the diagnosis about two weeks ago then gained about half of it back, Richard Kopelman, his agent, said.
He said Love has Type 2 diabetes, which is less serious than Type 1, and was working out at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday before being released. The Patriots did not mention the diagnosis in a statement announcing the move.
“They expressed some concern that they didn’t know what the recovery time would be and, in their view, didn’t want to leave something to chance,” Kopelman said. “That’s OK. There are 31 other teams in the NFL.”
Love started the first 11 games last season next to Vince Wilfork. Brandon Deaderick started the last five but was released on Monday and signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars. In the offseason, the Patriots signed two free-agent defensive tackles, Tommy Kelly and Armond Armstead.
Love joined the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of Mississippi State in 2010 and started 25 of the 41 regular-season games in which he played.
“I think he was, as anybody might be, a bit surprised that a decision would be made in the manner it was, but he completely understands and there’s no grudge,” Kopelman said.
“I’m upset in the sense that I’m disappointed for my client, but football’s a tough business. The players are the capital. They’re the machines that make the factory work. The teams have the prerogative to decide when they want to buy a new machine and get rid of an older one, not that Kyle’s old by any stretch. It is a bit confounding that they would make a decision like that. It seems a bit premature.”
He said that after he consulted with doctors, he expects Love to be “100 percent” by the start of training camp.
In Type 2 diabetes, which is more common, people can’t properly break down carbohydrates because their bodies do not produce enough insulin or they’ve become resistant to the hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Insulin is needed to turn sugar into energy.
In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin.
Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes after the 2007 season, his second in the NFL. Former Pittsburgh Steelers starting offensive lineman Kendall Simmons was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes before the 2003 season and played until 2009.
Love “should be able to play football without conditions attributable to diabetes,” Kopelman said. “I anticipate that he will be on another roster going into training camp and certainly he has every intention of making a 53-man roster.”
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