The New England Patriots stumbled out of the gate this season, and they have continued to stumble, though not necessarily because they are doing anything wrong. Injuries are the bane of most teams in the NFL.
And it only takes one critical injury at the wrong time to ruin a team’s chances of Super Bowl success. The Patriots Odds for Super Bowl victory still look good. But Patriots fans have begun to worry and for good reason.
Football is a complicated game. In a team of eleven players, it only takes one athlete to screw up for things to go sideways. The best teams try to get by with talented athletes and coaches.
But they also depend heavily on luck, especially when it comes to avoiding injuries. The best team with the best coaches and the best talent can still collapse under the weight of injuries.
And while the Patriots are hardly collapsing, injuries are definitely starting to batter them. The team’s Sunday game saw them lose Kyle Van Noy in the second half. Kyle replaced Hightower and he had quickly blossomed into one of the better players on the team.
However, the Patriot’s 30-17 victory over Miami did little to improve the mood which came with the revelation that Kyle had suffered a leg injury.
If that doesn’t worry you as a Patriots’ fan, then maybe you have forgotten about Trey Flowers, a truly talented component of the front seven whose ribs injury saw him retreat to the locker room.
Of course, Trey refused to dwell on the injury and merely spoke of the rest he was encouraged to have. But that won’t quell the rising tide of rumors.
Marcus Cannon suffered an Ankle Injury during a Week 8 Chargers game. He was replaced by right tackle LaAdrian Waddle who was last seen sporting a walking boot.
Chris Hogan has also been seen sporting a sling around his arm, and everyone knows about special teams star Matthew Slate’s hamstring problems. You cannot discount all those injuries.
And they are hardly the only ones. You also have players like Malcolm Mitchell, Cyrus Jones, and Derek Rivers, not to mention Vincent Valentine, all of whom have been sidelined by knee injuries.
Shea McClellin’s concussion will keep him off the field for the entire season and the same can probably be said for Julian Edelman who tore his ACL in August. New England’s Sunday game wasn’t all doom and gloom.
Sure they suffered injuries but none of them was season-ending. However, all the worry pervading New England fans is justifiable. The team is on a knife’ edge; if they keep sustaining injuries, they will crumble.
It is worth noting that the Patriots are performing miracles at the present. Despite losing so much talent, the Patriots are still a dominant force. Most other teams would have been crushed by a similar level of injuries.
New England’s depth is such that they still have the capacity to compensate for the absence of key players. But will it be enough to win the super bowl? The Patriots are up against teams that have maintained the same rosters all season.
Can New England stick it out until the end or will they finally crash and burn like their enemies are predicting?
New England Patriots Injuries
|Kyle Van Noy||LB||11/27||calf||Questionable|
|Cyrus Jones||DB||8/31||knee surgery||I.L.|
|Derek Rivers||DL||8/18||knee surgery||I.L.|