FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Fumbles have been an issue for Patriots running back Stevan Ridley in the past, and he put the ball on the ground once more Sunday against the Steelers when safety Troy Polamalu executed a terrific strip after a reception.
Unlike previous instances of Ridley fumbling, however, the Patriots immediately turned back to him, as Ridley carried the football on the next offensive snap following his turnover.
On Tuesday, Ridley spoke of the coaches decision to stick with him despite the fumble, the lone error during an otherwise sensational effort in which he posted a season-best 115 yards and two touchdowns.
"Well, I mean, the ball was on the ground and that was definitely the low of my night for sure," he said. "But for the coaches to stick with me, ride it out, it said a lot. I think my team, really, everybody's made their mistakes at different times and that's something I've had to work on and focus on since I've been here."
When Ridley's number was called again, he knew the importance of a short memory to look past his mistake.
"For me, I couldn't just hang my head," he said. "It wasn't time for me to hang my head, it was time for me to go out there and close that game out because that's what my team needed me to do."
Several Patriots players echoed on Tuesday that the bye week represents a good opportunity to catch their breath and give their body a chance to rest.
And while Ridley is savoring the rest himself, a part of him would have had no problem with taking the field again this Sunday to ride his current wave of strong play.
"Absolutely, man," he added. "I try to go out there every week and light it up, so to have a good game and finally get over that 100-yard mark is something I've been searching for all year, but I'm trying to go out there and repeat it.
"It's not any time to lay down and be too happy and look for the confetti to fall just yet," he continued. "I just have to keep grinding it out and I know those boys up front are going to go to work for me and this offense is really rolling in the right direction."