Patriots Post Game Notes

News and notes from week-three of the NFL season.

--The Patriots added nose tackle Ted Washington to the "serious injury" category when he fractured his left leg while helping to stuff the Jets' Curtis Martin on a third-and-two play in the first quarter. According to Bill Belichick, Washington will be out "a few weeks."
   Washington is perhaps the most vital part of the defense that was so vulnerable against the run that it dealt for the behemoth lineman midway through training camp. He seemed to go a long way toward solving their run defense problems.
   But he now joins Rosevelt Colvin (fractured hip) and Ted Johnson (broken foot) on the sideline, which means the Patriots defense is without its best pass rusher, its best run-stopping lineman and its best run-stopping linebacker.
   "It's tough when you lose starters," safety Rodney Harrison said. "It's disheartening. But you have to focus more and work harder because you'll have new guys stepping in. You lose leadership, experience and talent, but you have 53 guys on the roster and guys have to step up. But these guys believe in one another and the team has responded well so far."
   It won't get any easier, especially if Washington's absence makes New England as vulnerable on the ground as it was before his arrival. Last year New England ranked 31st against the run and with first round pick Ty Warren contributing little, the only significant additions to the front seven were Colvin and Washington.
   Now it will be up to players like Rick Lyle, Willie McGinest and even rookie Dan Klecko to step up and contribute just as they did in the win over New York. "I give credit to guys like Rick Lyle who stepped into the middle and to the overall effort of the defense," veteran linebacker Roman Phifer said. "We're missing some soldiers, but we have to step up and make plays."
   --LB Rosevelt Colvin was inactive for the Jets game after undergoing surgery on his left hip. He will be placed on injured reserve.
   --LB Willie McGinest started for Colvin at outside linebacker, making his first start of the season.
   --LB Ted Johnson was inactive as he recovers from surgery to repair a broken foot that is expected to keep him out through Week 10.
   --LB Roman Phifer started at inside linebacker beside Tedy Bruschi in Johnson's place.
   --G Mike Compton also missed the game with a foot injury. Joe Andruzzi moved from right guard to left guard while Damien Woody slid to right guard in his place and rookie Dan Koppen started for Woody at center.
   --FB Fred McCrary missed his first start after spraining his knee in Philadelphia.
   --FB Larry Centers started in place of Fred McCrary and with four receptions he moved into sole possession of eighth place on the NFL's all-time receptions list with 818, leaving him one catch shy of Steve Largent for seventh place.
   --S Je'Rod Cherry, a special teamer, missed the game with an undisclosed leg injury.
   --WR David Patten left with a right leg injury with 3:54 in the first quarter and did not return. The Patriots dressed five receivers in the game for the first time this season. Deion Branch moved up to No. 2 with Bethel Johnson and David Givens filling out the depth chart. Neither Johnson nor Givens had a reception.
   --WR Troy Brown had one catch, extending his streak of games with at least one reception to 56. That leaves him seven games shy of the Patriots record of 63 held by former tight end Ben Coates.
   --CB Ty Law was helped off the field with :47 seconds left in the first half after he injured his lower right leg breaking up a pass along the sideline. Law came across the receiver from a safety-like position, deflected the pass, but had his leg caught under the receiver as he fell over the top of him. Law returned later in the second half.
   --CB Asante Samuel, an impressive rookie fourth round pick out of Central Florida, became the first Patriots rookie to return an interception for a touchdown since Oct. 17, 1999 when Andy Katzenmoyer took a Dan Marino pass 57 yards for a score. Samuel lunged to deflect a Vinny Testaverde pass intended for Wayne Chrebet and then caught the ball and raced 55 yards for a touchdown.

Scout NFL Network Top Stories