Fitzpatrick has no hangup with his ring

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn't know of any other NFL player who wears his wedding ring on the field.

"People take them off," Fitzpatrick told me Wednesday. "They're nervous about getting them caught. I wore it during training camp, and there's no issue. I just made the decision I would never take it off."

Odd as it may seem, Fitzpatrick keeps his ring on when playing a collision sport. It's kind of scary, and kind of neat.

Fitzpatrick doesn't care much about the risks involved with a ring on his exposed left hand. He doesn't cover it with a glove or athletic tape. The shiny platinum is easy to spot if you're looking for it.

This is the first year Fitzpatrick has played with his ring on. He never would try it if he were left-handed. The ball wouldn't feel right in his hand when throwing.

He said he didn't discuss his decision with his wife, Liza, but "She thinks it's cool."

A kicker certainly could get away with wearing rings. Miami Dolphins punter Reggie Roby used to wear a wristwatch during games. New York Jets punter Steve Weatherford once was photographed with his watch and wedding ring on while playing for the New Orleans Saints.

But scrambling around defenders intent on rendering you a crumpled heap is a different story.

What if Fitzpatrick were to instinctively stiff-arm a linebacker and got his finger entangled in his facemask? What if a helmet were to nail him right on the ring finger?

Or what if he were to lose it? Dolphins defensive lineman Kendall Langford lost a $50,000 diamond earring on the practice field this summer.

"It's tight on there, nice and snug," Fitzpatrick said.

Fitzpatrick slid the ring off to show me the engraving on the inside. It's inscribed with his wedding date, 6-24-06, but infinity signs are between the numbers instead of dashes.

Fitzpatrick met Liza when they were students at Harvard. They have two children: 3-year-old Brady and 1-year-old Tate. (Yes, they realize that's a New England Patriots passing combination these days.)

"I don't feel like I need to take it off," Fitzpatrick said. "It does symbolize something. It symbolizes my relationship with my wife and my family.

"It's something I like to do."