Injuries could be cause of great concern

Though the New England Patriots rebounded well from their 31-0 thrashing at the hands of the Buffalo Bills last week, injuries could lead to some shaky days for the Patriots.

The Patriots may have gotten their badly needed first win of the season following two weeks of unrest inside the team's locker room, but the win did not come without an injury cost.

Quarterback Tom Brady suffered a right elbow injury and starting outside linebacker Rosevelt Colvin injured his left hip, and while the status of both remains unclear, those are absences the Patriots can ill afford to absorb for any extended length of time.

It's unclear as to when Brady suffered his injury in Philadelphia, but he was sacked just twice in the game, once coming with 10:28 left in the third quarter and the other 2:02 left in the third. He also carried the ball four times for 9 yards. The injury didn't force Brady out of the game and it isn't believed to be serious, but given that it's his throwing elbow, there has to be mild concern at best as the team prepares for its second division match-up in three weeks, this one against the defending AFC East champion Jets.

During his Monday radio obligation on WEEI in Boston, Brady said that it wasn't serious and shouldn't keep him out of Sunday's game against the Jets, but he reportedly had noticeable swelling in the elbow on Sunday afternoon, something that was not visible when he sat down with reporters in a suit after the game.

As for Colvin, the Patriots' star offseason acquisition left the game with 9:11 to go in the first half after recovering a Donovan McNabb fumble, and was helped to the locker room. He did not return and left Lincoln Financial Field on crutches, leaving his status in serious doubt for the Jets game.

Coach Bill Belichick was typically non-committal on the injury front. "We had a lot of people go in and out of the game," he said. "We're looking at everybody but we have nothing definitive to report. Some injuries that look serious on Sunday don't always look as serious on Monday and some that don't look serious on Sunday look worse Monday. It was humid and we had some guys cramp up. It was also a very physical game."

At one point or another, cornerback Ty Law, wide receivers Troy Brown and Deion Branch, guard Joe Andruzzi, nose tackle Ted Washington and cornerbacks Eugene Wilson and Asante Samuel had ailments, but most everybody made it through the game. Everybody except for Colvin.

If Colvin is out for any extended period, it cuts deeper into the Patriots' linebacker depth with inside linebacker Ted Johnson already on the shelf for 8-10 weeks with a broken foot. Sunday in Philadelphia, Willie McGinest stepped in and saw his most extended action in some time, but was productive in the process, notching three tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. 

"The score was in our favor," Belichick said, "and they were throwing a lot. That's a good situation for you [pass rush] to tee off on."

Fortunately, the Patriots entered the season with solid, experienced depth at linebacker. That depth is now depleted with Johnson out and Colvin possibly following him. That could put pressure on players like Don Davis and Matt Chatham to step in on short notice. That's when the Patriots would experience a noticeable drop-off in production, as both players are predominantly special teamers.


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