Yesterday I tried to predict who the 5 players the Patriots would either cut or place on IR today. Today was the day that teams had to chop their rosters down from 80 players to 75 players. While I nailed 3 out of the 5, one of my misses was HUGE and could possibly have season-altering implications for the team. Veteran CB Leigh Bodden was placed on injured reserve (IR), dealing the Pats’ young secondary a major blow. Bodden, after being awarded a lucrative contract during the offseason, was expected to be the veteran presence in a corner back group that, without him, averages about 2 years of NFL experience. Where does this leave the CB group now?
Darius Butler, who was expected to start on the left side, will likely start on the right side while rookie Devin McCourty will likely start on the left side. The rest of the CB group likely to make the roster are Jonathon Wilhite (groan), Terrence Wheatley (who injured himself in the St. Louis game), and Kyle Arrington (primarily a special teams player). This also means that the most experienced corners active on the team are Wilhite (who is terrible) and Wheatley with 3 years experience. While I mentioned yesterday that trading for an OLB, defensive end, or an interior offensive lineman could be on the Patriots radar, you can now add CB to that list. While the young starting corners have shown progress, they are still likely to have some growing pains, especially against a team like the Colts. Bill Belichick drafting McCourty in the first round is looking like a much better pick now than it did on draft day.
In other roster moves, the Pats placed safeties Josh Barrett and Bret Lockett on IR and cut CB Terrence Johnson, as I predicted. The other move I missed was the placing of DL Darryl Richard on IR.