FOXSports.com's Alex Marvez reported today that cornerback Ellis Hobbs played through a painful injury during the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots defender, who suffered a groin injury early in the season, aggravated it in the first quarter of Sunday's loss to the New York Giants. According to the report, Hobbs' injury will require off-season surgery to correct.
The latest revelation of Hobbs' injured condition sheds light on some of the struggles he experienced over the latter part of the season. The injury undoubtedly factored into the decision to start DB Randall Gay at Hobbs' position in the divisional round of the playoffs against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
How much of a factor the injury played into Hobbs' performance, only he will be bale to tell. In the Patriots victory over the Giants in week 17, Hobbs was beaten deep by Plaxico Burress on the second play of the Giants first possession. Burress put a move on Hobbs who had all he could handle trying to catch up to the 6-foot-5 Giants wide out. By the time Hobbs arrived, Burress was landing on his back cradling a 52-yard hookup from Eli Manning.
Sunday Hobbs played well considering his past experience against Burress. The first two passes Hobbs' direction fell incomplete. The third, intended for Steve Smith, was bobbled and picked out of the air by Hobbs who ran it back 23 yards the other direction. Hobbs finished the day with 1 tackle, 1 interception and three passes defended. He did not return kickoffs, as those duties fell to running back Laurence Maroney.
New England Patriots corner back Ellis Hobbs III (27) returns a second quarter interception as New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) defends during the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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