- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ridley's final play in Friday's preseason victory over the Philadelphia Eagles was ruled a fumble. The Patriots recovered, but Ridley didn't play again, which was a déjà vu of sorts to last December when he was a healthy scratch for a game against the Houston Texans after multiple fumbles.
Ridley hoped to leave those issues behind in 2014.
"When I go back and watch the play, and the ball is out again, Week 2, it kind of sucks,' he admitted. "But it's football, man, and I can't get down about it. I can't harp about it. That's why you have preseason. I'm just going to keep on working and keep on pushing.'
That's always been Ridley's approach, and while he might take some solace in the fact he might have been ruled down had the Patriots challenged the fumble, it's not something he simply dismisses.
"It's too close to call, man. Either way, I need to avoid those plays in general," he said. "There's nothing really else to be said about it. ... I hated it. It was a sick feeling for a second. We looked at the play, it is what it is, but either way one out is too many. But I'm not going to harp on that. I'm going to learn from it."
Asked what he could have done differently on the second-quarter play in which safety Earl Wolff ripped the ball out of his grasp, Ridley smiled.
"That's what I'm still trying to figure out," he acknowledged. "Getting tackled by a few defenders, it's football, they're taught to go after the ball and attack it. It's just staying alert, being conscious of that, and trying to get two hands on it. That's really all you can do."
Ridley wasn't sure if he was removed from the game for the fumble, or it was simply a case of him having taken his expected workload (16 snaps).
"It was what it was. We had a first half of football to play. That was the time that we got," he said of the team's starting unit. "Either way, that really wasn't my call. I didn't know how much longer I'd be in there or not.
"I had a nice little workload early on, and I think the coaches saw what they wanted to see. For me, I came on out when they told me to come out. Like I said, we're moving on. This week's Carolina. There wasn't too much said about it -- just get back to work, learn from your mistakes just like everybody else and keep on pushing."
As for the questions from reporters, Ridley said he understands that comes with the territory.
"That's part of your job. I know it's coming, you all have to write articles and do what you all do. It's part of it. You take the good with the bad, every time,' he said.
"I'm just thankful it's preseason. It was a close call and the ball was out, but it could have been down, could not have been down. Guess what? If it's in my hands, you don't have to answer that question.
"Either way, I'm man enough and am going to stand up here and do what I do. Like I say, it's another Monday that I'm out here and I'm in pads and I'm back to work today. So I just have to learn from it and keep it moving and not sulk on that.
"I will try not to have the issue and this be the topic the whole year this year because I think I can do a few other things that you all can write about, and hopefully have some good things to say. Either way, I have to own up to it and that's what it was."
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