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Cassel leaves Patriots after father dies

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SAN JOSE, Calif. — New England Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel left the team Wednesday to join his family following the death of his father earlier in the week.

"Our thoughts are with him and his family during this time," Coach Bill Belichick said before practice. "Right now we're just taking it day to day. He's going to take care of what he has to do."

Belichick said that Greg Cassel died Monday night and Matt has left the team to be with his family in Southern California. Belichick said he didn't know when Cassel would rejoin the team or whether he would be able to start Sunday against the Oakland Raiders.

The Patriots are practicing this week in San Jose. They stayed on the West Coast after last Sunday's 24-21 win in Seattle.

Matt Cassel is from Northridge in the Los Angeles area and his father and mother Barbara divorced when he was 14. Greg Cassel was a script writer.