What's Wrong With Laurence Maroney?

Patriots running back Laurence Maroney isn't having the best season, seeing as how he's only carried the ball 28 times for 93 yards and no touchdowns through week five. He's been listed on the Patriots injury report with a shoulder injury, and is currently questionable for tonight's game at San Diego. But that doesn't appear to be the only thing bothering him.

Karen Guregian of the Boston Heraldwrote about Maroney's "issues" yesterday, and specifically a play in the teams 30-21 win over San Francisco when he ducked out of bounds, as opposed plowing ahead an extra yard for the first down.

Maroney, who was listed as questionable for tomorrow's game in San Diego with a shoulder problem, yesterday summed up his less-than-glowing effort on that play this way: "I have my issues. There are reasons. I'd rather not speak about them. But there are reasons.It wasn't a coincidence that running backs coach Ivan Fears was shown on TV, yapping in Maroney's ear on the sideline after that play. Maroney, however, appears to be in such a fragile state right now he barely remembers that conversation. "He really wasn't yelling. I don't know what he was saying. I really don't remember," Maroney said yesterday of the Fears encounter. "He really wasn't yelling, though. TV is (tough), man.""

A shoulder injury, I'd think, would be a pretty good reason to not plow forward and take on a safety one-on-one, assuming that's the only thing bothering the third-year running back. But Maroney's comments on the matter, and the fact he doesn't remember what his position coach said to him, are all just a little odd.

Then again, this is the Patriots we're talking about, and these people treat injuries as if they're national secrets. Perhaps it is just as simple as a shoulder injury, and this all just an elaborate ploy to hide it from the rest of the league. Hey, it's possible.

Either way, Maroney's health status, combined with his poor production, has led to more carries for Sammy Morris and Lamont Jordan. Trouble is, Jordan may be out for tonight's game, seeing as how the Patriots signed Benjarvus Green-Ellis from their practice squad. Raise your hand if you saw Matt Cassel and BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the Patriots backfield this season.

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