BOSTON (CBS) — Entering the 2016 season, Jamie Collins and Jabaal Sheard figured to be major contributors to the Patriots’ defense. Both were in the final years of their contracts, and both were impact players last year for New England.

Well, now it’s Week 12, and Collins has been traded away, and Sheard was just made a healthy scratch for a game in San Francisco.

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It would stand to reason that the benching of a player of Sheard’s caliber would warrant significant attention. But that’s not the case according to Bill Belichick, who reiterated Monday that everything remains business as usual with regard to his decisions.

“Well, Jabaal was inactive. So that’s why he wasn’t in San Francisco,” Belichick said on a Monday conference call when asked to address the decision to not even take Sheard on the team flight.

Belichick was later asked directly if the decision to leave Sheard behind based on performance.

“As I think I’ve said on dozens of occasions, every decision we make here is based on what’s best for the football team,” Belichick said.

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Pressed for more, Belichick didn’t relent.

“Well, as I already said, we’re going to make the decisions that we feel are best for the football team — last week, this week, next week, every week. So I don’t know how I could put it any differently. Last year, the year before that, five years before that, 10 years before that, 15 years before that, I mean, I don’t really understand why that’s hard to understand,” Belichick said.

The line of questioning from CSNNE’s Mike Giardi continued, as he explained the questions arise from Sheard getting very limited playing time vs. Seattle in Week 10 and then getting benched completely in Week 11.

“OK,” Belichick replied.

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And with that, the mystery of Belichick lived another day.