The Patriots’ offensive line has been hammered for three quarters and now it looks like the defensive line might be the next in line.
The Patriots’ offense has had a lot of issues in recent weeks, but the defensive front has done an admirable job of shutting down the run and keeping the run game on schedule.
This week, defensive end Chandler Jones left with a torn pectoral muscle in the right knee, leaving the team to start the season with a pair of injured players on the interior.
Defensive tackle David Andrews left in the third quarter with a sprained ankle.
The other two starters on the defensive side of the ball, nose tackle Brandon Vazquez and center Bryan Stork, left in their respective third quarters with injuries.
“We’ll see where we are,” coach Bill Belichick said on Monday.
“We’ll have to make a call, but it looks good.
We’ll go through it and get through it.”
New England will have to replace three starters on their defensive line and three starters at nose tackle, which is not a position that is very strong on the offensive line.
The Patriots have struggled to score points this season, ranking last in the NFL in points allowed per game at 7.5, and have allowed an average of 24.5 points per game through the first two weeks of the season.
But it’s a position where the team has struggled to consistently play with, and it’s something the Patriots have to get right if they want to keep the pressure on the rest of the AFC.
Jones left the game in the first quarter with the injury and was replaced by Vazqskiy after the game.
Andrews, who had played the entire first half, left after getting hurt in the second quarter.
Stork left the second half with a knee injury, but he returned and played in the game and has played well.
The team had lost Vazqsskiy to a torn Achilles tendon in practice, but they did not use him in the regular season opener against the Patriots.
Vazquez left the third-quarter game with a left knee injury.
Storks left in his third-and-20 situation with a calf injury.
Andrews did not play.
The fourth-year center has played in three of the Patriots first four games, but has not played in a game since Week 6 because of an ankle injury.
It’s a major blow for the offensive linemen.
Jones said he didn’t think he was going to be able to play in the fourth quarter, but that he did not feel bad.
“I felt fine,” Jones said.
“I thought it was going the right way.
I thought I would have been fine.
It didn’t happen, so that was a good thing.
I think I’m ready for the game.”
Jones and Stork both had their tackles get hurt in a collision that happened when the Patriots were going for the ball with 6:45 remaining in the quarter.
They each had to leave the game with injuries, but Andrews said it was more of a precaution than anything else.
“It was just something that happened,” Andrews said.