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Patriots' Stephen Neal placed on IR

Updated: December 3, 2010, 2:56 AM ET
By Mike Reiss | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots placed starting right guard Stephen Neal on season-ending injured reserve on Thursday, which could signal the end of Neal's career.

The move was not a major surprise as Neal has missed the last three games with a shoulder injury.

Neal, 34, had considered retirement in the offseason but returned to the team on a two-year contract. He is scheduled to earn $3 million next season if he decides to return, and the Patriots ...

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