DE Andre Carter follow-up

Veteran defensive end Andre Carter is expected to undergo surgery, according to various reports, after being carted off the field at the end of the first quarter Sunday. Carter's status naturally came up during conference calls today with head coach Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio.

What is the expectation level that Carter will return this season?

"We'll meet with our medical people this afternoon and see what they say based on the information they had last night," Belichick said. "We'll see how that goes."

Asked if there was any reason for optimism, based on the fact Carter was carted off, Belichick repeated his earlier thought.

"It just depends on what we're told. I'm not sure what their recommendation and what their information will be," he said. "We'll base our decision in large part on that."

Earlier, Caserio said the team had not finalized any roster decisions related to Carter.

"We haven't done anything yet, as of today," Caserio said.

Caserio then fielded questions on practice squad defensive end/linebacker Markell Carter, who looks like a top candidate to be promoted if Andre Carter is placed on injured reserve. Markell Carter, the team's sixth-round draft choice from Central Arkansas, recently had his salary boosted from $149,000 to $306,000, a sign of how the team views him as a player on the rise.

"Since he's been here, from training camp up to this point, I'd say he's certainly made progress," Caserio said. "The biggest thing with him is that he's coming from a lower level of competition, and that situation as well as not having an offseason program. He's worked hard. He's a player, whether it's during practice on the 'look' team, whether it's defensive snaps, post-practice, in meetings, he worked hard and applied himself. He's made progress and I think that's what you want to see with any young player. We're happy to have him in the program."