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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports NFL insider Jarrett Bell explains why the New Orleans Saints have impressed him the most of any 7-2 team. USA TODAY Sports

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DENVER – Martellus Bennett said Sunday he thought being waived by the Green Bay Packers earlier this week truly marked the end of his season, and he was preparing himself for shoulder surgery and a “desk job” to occupy his time as an unemployed football player.

He even told his agent to advise teams that he was planning on surgery, so it would be unwise to place a waiver claim on him.

That changed when Bill Belichick was interested.

“I was like, ‘no (expletive) way,’ ” Bennett told reporters Sunday night.

More: 40 things we learned in Week 10 of the 2017 NFL season

More: Patriots keep rolling, coast past reeling Broncos

With the chance to return to New England, where Bennett was a big part of the Patriots’ Super Bowl champion team last year, the veteran tight end said he’d eschew surgery on his shoulder and play. He passed his physical, practiced with the Patriots on Friday morning, flew with the team to Denver that afternoon, and caught three passes in Sunday’s 41-16 win over the Broncos.

“You get that vengeance in your heart and you say, ‘(expletive) it,’ and go ball,” Bennett said.

Belichick declined to say if the Patriots had any concerns about his shoulder, other than saying he was listed on the team’s injury report. Indeed, Bennett was designated as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Belichick said Bennett worked extra on Friday with coaches to pick up some of the changes to the Patriots’ offense, though his familiarity with Tom Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ play calls helped him get on the field so quickly.

Bennett on Friday posted a lengthy tirade about his shoulder and the medical treatment he said he received in Green Bay. Several Packers players, including quarterback Aaron Rodgers, issued their own statements in support of Green Bay’s team doctor, whom Bennett criticized.

Bennett said that response from former teammates didn’t bother him.

“It’s like, ‘I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you says bounces off me and sticks it back to you,’ ” Bennett said. “At this point, it’s nothing else anyone can say to me in my career that could make me feel any way toward myself.”

Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.

PHOTOS: Best of NFL Week 10

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) prepares

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) prepares to pass in the first quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field.  Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead (34)

New England Patriots running back Rex Burkhead (34) runs for a touchdown ahead of Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart (26) in the first quarter at Sports Authority Field.  Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen (83) celebrates

New England Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen (83) celebrates his touchdown reception in the second quarter against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field.  Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is sacked by

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is sacked by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn during the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Dale Zanine, USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99)

Atlanta Falcons defensive end Adrian Clayborn (99) celebrates a sack with defensive end Brooks Reed (50) and defensive end Takkarist McKinley (98) against the Dallas Cowboys in the fourth quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) runs

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) runs after a catch against the Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) dives

San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard (3) dives for the end zone during the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at Levi’s Stadium.  Sergio Estrada, USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers defensive back Adrian Colbert (38)

San Francisco 49ers defensive back Adrian Colbert (38) and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) break up a pass intended for New York Giants tight end Evan Engram (88) during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium.  Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports
New York Giants running back Orleans Darkwa (26) runs

New York Giants running back Orleans Darkwa (26) runs with the ball past San Francisco 49ers defensive back Adrian Colbert (38) during the first quarter at Levi’s Stadium.  Sergio Estrada, USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (17) celebrates

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Robert Woods (17) celebrates with the crowd after a touchdown against the Houston Texans during the third quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans safety Andre Hal (29) trips Los Angeles

Houston Texans safety Andre Hal (29) trips Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley II (30) during the fourth quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) catches

Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) catches a pass defended by Los Angeles Rams cornerback Kayvon Webster (21) during the fourth quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins

New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins intercepts the ball during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field.  Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears wide receiver Josh Bellamy celebrates

Chicago Bears wide receiver Josh Bellamy celebrates scoring a touchdown during the second half against the Green Bay Packers at Soldier Field.  Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Charles Sims celebrates

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Charles Sims celebrates making a catch for a touchdown against the New York Jets in the second half at Raymond James Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Will Clarke sacks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Will Clarke sacks New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown during the first half at Raymond James Stadium.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin leaps

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin leaps over New York Jets cornerback Buster Skrine in the second half at Raymond James Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is sacked

Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is sacked by Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry during the second half at Soldier Field.  Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah celebrates

Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah celebrates with wide receiver Marvin Jones, wide receiver T.J. Jones, and wide receiver Golden Tate after running for a touchdown during the second quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field.  Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports
Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate runs after

Detroit Lions wide receiver Golden Tate runs after a catch for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against Cleveland Browns free safety Jabrill Peppers at Ford Field.  Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston reacts

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston reacts to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick after a touchdown by running back Charles Sims against the New York Jets in the second half at Raymond James Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is knocked

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is knocked out of bounds by Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones as he dives for the goal line during the first half at Nissan Stadium.  Jim Brown, USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo celebrates his

Jacksonville Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo celebrates his game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Chargers in over time at EverBank Field.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler gets wrapped

Cleveland Browns quarterback Cody Kessler gets wrapped up by Detroit Lions strong safety Tavon Wilson during the fourth quarter at Ford Field.  Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen stiff

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen stiff arms Washington Redskins cornerback Bashaud Breeland as he runs after the catch during the first quarter at FedEx Field.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers defense celebrates a turnover

The Pittsburgh Steelers defense celebrates a turnover against the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Thomas J. Russo, USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant stiff arms

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant stiff arms Atlanta Falcons cornerback Desmond Trufant in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott dives in for

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott dives in for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons in the first quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings tight end David Morgan celebrates

Minnesota Vikings tight end David Morgan celebrates after catching a touchdown pass against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field.  Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers free safety Tre Boston upends

Los Angeles Chargers free safety Tre Boston upends Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee during the second half at EverBank Field.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers free safety Tre Boston intercepts

Los Angeles Chargers free safety Tre Boston intercepts a pass in the fourth quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
Houston Texans wide receiver Bruce Ellington runs in

Houston Texans wide receiver Bruce Ellington runs in a catch for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Rams during the second quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  Kelvin Kuo, USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee makes

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee makes a catch for the two point conversion ahead of Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward during the second half at EverBank Field.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Corey Grant runs

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Corey Grant runs into the end zone to score a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers during the first half at EverBank Field.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs celebrates

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs celebrates after scoring touchdown during the second quarter against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen celebrates

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen celebrates with teammates after his second quarter touchdown against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack runs past

Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack runs past Pittsburgh Steelers corner back Artie Burns in the second quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Thomas J. Russo, USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler dives

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler dives for the pylon to score a touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at EverBank Field.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler celebrates

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler celebrates with wide receiver Keenan Allen after his touchdown against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at EverBank Field.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole can

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole can not make the catch in front of Los Angeles Chargers inside linebacker Korey Toomer during the second half at EverBank Field.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram runs the

New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram runs the ball in for a touchdown during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field.  Timothy T. Ludwig, USA TODAY Sports
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler runs

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler runs on a 28-yard touchdown reception against Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey and outside linebacker Telvin Smith in the second quarter at EverBank Field.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Will Clarke sacks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Will Clarke sacks New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown in the first half at Raymond James Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes intercepts

Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes intercepts the ball against the New York Jets during the first half at Raymond James Stadium.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton attempts

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton attempts to stay in bounds after catching a pass under coverage from Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns during the second quarter of the game at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Marc Lebryk, USA TODAY Sports
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief celebrates

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief celebrates a touchdown with Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Chester Rogers during the first quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Lucas Oil Stadium.  Marc Lebryk, USA TODAY Sports
After scoring a touchdown New Orleans Saints running

After scoring a touchdown New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram jumps into the stands and gives the ball to a Saints fan during the second quarter a game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field.  Mark Konezny, USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery celebrates

Green Bay Packers running back Ty Montgomery celebrates his touchdown with tight end Richard Rodgers during the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.  Patrick Gorski, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen catches

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen catches a touchdown pass as Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman defends in the second quarter at FedEx Field.  Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander celebrates

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Mackensie Alexander celebrates with teammates after intercepting a pass against the Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field.  Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray is forced

Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray is forced out of bounds by Cincinnati Bengals defenders during the first half at Nissan Stadium.  Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is tackled

New York Jets wide receiver Jermaine Kearse is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (left) and defensive back T.J. Ward (middle) in the first half at Raymond James Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller breaks up a pass

Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller breaks up a pass intended for Green Bay Packers wide receiver Davante Adams during the first quarter at Soldier Field.  Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports
New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown is tackled by

New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown is tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy in the first half at Raymond James Stadium.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs celebrates

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs celebrates after scoring a touchdown against there Washington Redskins in the second quarter at FedEx Field.  Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue pressures Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers during the first quarter at EverBank Field.  Reinhold Matay, USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green poses for

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green poses for a picture with a member of the US Army before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium.  Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Redskins wide receiver Maurice Harris catches

Washington Redskins wide receiver Maurice Harris catches a touchdown pass as Minnesota Vikings cornerback Trae Waynes defends in the first quarter at FedEx Field.  Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson celebrates as Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon cannot convert on third down during the first half at EverBank Field.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports
Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray celebrates

Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray celebrates after a touchdown run during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Nissan Stadium.  Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Kenny Britt runs after

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Kenny Britt runs after a catch for a touchdown during the first quarter against Detroit Lions free safety Glover Quin at Ford Field.  Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports
Washington Redskins wide receiver Maurice Harris celebrates

Washington Redskins wide receiver Maurice Harris celebrates after his touchdown was confirmed by intent replay in the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at FedEx Field.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports
Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor runs for a first

Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor runs for a first down during the first quarter a game against the New Orleans Saints at New Era Field.  Mark Konezny, USA TODAY Sports
Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Amara Darboh (84) is

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Amara Darboh (84) is tackled by Arizona Cardinals cornerback Tramon Williams (25) in the second half at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) gives

Arizona Cardinals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) gives the ball to a fan after scoring a touchdown in the first half against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports
Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) celebrates

Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) celebrates with teammates after catching a touchdown pass against the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) catches

Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham (88) catches a touchdown pass as Arizona Cardinals safety Tyvon Branch (27) suffers a leg injury in the first quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals safety Tyvon Branch (27) breaks up

Arizona Cardinals safety Tyvon Branch (27) breaks up a pass intended for Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Tyler Lockett (16) in the first quarter at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (72)

Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Olsen Pierre (72) and safety Tyrann Mathieu (32) sack Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) during the first half at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Matt Kartozian, USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Larry Fitzgerald takes

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Larry Fitzgerald takes a photo with a fans Canon camera on the sidelines prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert stretches

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Blaine Gabbert stretches on the field wearing a tooth fairy costume after losing the weekly quarterbacks bet before playing the Seattle Seahawks at University of Phoenix Stadium.  Rob Schumacher, The Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

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