Former Navy running back Eric Kettani made the Patriots' practice squad this season, but the Boston Herald's Ian Rappaport reports that Kettani has been called to active duty and must report for duty to his ship in Jacksonville, Fla. Friday morning.
Kettani spent two years on the reserve list as an active military member while serving in the Navy. But he came to training camp this season and earned a practice squad spot. No doubt, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, whose father coached at the naval Academy, had a soft spot for Kettani.
The running back requested leave for the past two weeks while appealing the Navy's decision to call him now, but the appeal was denied. According to the Herald report, the Navy sent a letter to Kettani denying his appeal and stating: "As our nation is at war, it is important to ensure we maintain our commitment to the nation's defense. As such, a release from active duty would be inconsistent with that effort…[we] encourage you to pursue your goal to play professional football after completion of your service in the Navy."
Kettani's dress uniform was hanging in his Patriots locker today before he weighed anchor and headed for Jacksonville.