NFL NW - Bledsoe in good spirits

Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe was placed in an intensive care unit late Sunday night moreso for privacy reasons than because of the state of his injury. Nevertheless, rumors quickly circulated that he suffered a collapsed lung and would require surgery to repair what was called a season-ending injury. <br><br> Thursday, "Franchise" left the hospital in good spirits and may miss at least two weeks of football before he returns to the playing field. Hear what a close friend had to say.

"We'll need to get him some rest but thank god it's not as bad as it could have been," a spokesperson close to Bledsoe told SeahawksInsider on Wednesday.

Bledsoe has only missed six games in his NFL career that began in 1993. In probably his worst NFL season, Bledsoe was hit on a zone blitz from the blind side by Ken Norton in the 1995 season opener, which separated the quarterback's shoulder so badly that doctors told him that if he was hit again and landed wrong, that it could end his career.

But he still suited up against the Broncos the following week, where his left arm and shoulder were bandaged so tightly that he could only use his left hand on the snap to guide the ball into his right. This interrupted his throwing motion badly and a loss to the Broncos at Mile High Stadium was humiliating.

But Bledsoe stuck it out and played when many signal callers may have not. Early in the '95 season was when the zone blitz came to the NFL via San Francisco and Bledsoe was one of the first to see it.

He took his share of hits in '95 and the next year, led his team to the Super Bowl, where they lost in the final minutes to the Packers, when Desmond Howard sealed the game by returning Adam Vinatieri's kickoff that followed a touchdown by Keith Byers.

He'll be back, but maybe not for as long as some might expect after seeing him sign a 10-year deal last off-season.

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