--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
--LB Rosevelt Colvin was inactive for the Jets game
after undergoing surgery on his left hip. He will be placed on injured
--LB Willie McGinest started for Colvin at outside
linebacker, making his first start of the season.
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
--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
--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.
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
--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.
Patriots Post Game Notes
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