Ridley: No lingering concussion issues

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- More than three months removed from being knocked out of the AFC Championship Game due to a crunching hit, running back Stevan Ridley says he has no lingering effects from the blow.

"None at all," he said Thursday. "All I can do now is just move forward from that. ... I'll be out here this year ready to go."

Ridley suffered a concussion and fumbled on the fourth-quarter hit from Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard. Two weeks later, Ridley told ESPN he didn't remember much from the play.

Although the NFL has made a significant effort to prevent injuries such as Ridley's, the third-year running back said Thursday they might be inevitable in football.

"It was a nice hit that I took, but you just have to shake it off. It comes with the game," he said. "Sometimes it's to others and sometimes it's to ourselves. But either way, I love the game. I love football. It's going to happen sometimes. You just have to roll with it."

Ridley and incumbent running backs Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden will be joined in the backfield this summer by LeGarrette Blount, who was acquired in a draft-day trade from the Buccaneers.

"You're looking at a guy that's 260 pounds, a powerful runner," Ridley said. "He's coming in here to a stable of backs. We just had lunch, talked a little bit. We're excited about it."

Blount rushed for more than 1,000 yards his rookie season in Tampa, but his playing time dropped off considerably last season. Whether Blount is able to loosen Ridley's grip on being the top dog in the backfield remains to be seen.

"The job is not going to be given to anybody," Ridley said. "You have to work to get it. With four of us in here, I think all of us can contribute."