The depth at cornerback took another hit today when the Patriots placed rookie Ras-I Dowling on injured reserve with a hip injury. Yesterday, the team surprisingly released veteran Leigh Bodden. With Bodden gone and Dowling done for the season, the Pats only have Devin McCourty, Kyle Arrington, Antwaun Molden, and Philip Adams at corner. With the two open roster spots from Bodden and Dowling, the Patriots activated veteran RB Kevin Faulk and second-year defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick. Both players had been on the PUP list but were removed last week and began practicing with the team. Faulk adds a veteran presence to the backfield and should help with pass protection while Deaderick will ease the wear and tear on the defensive linemen by being incorporated into the rotation.
Getting back to Dowling, one has to question his selection at the top of the second round. There were other players available at areas of need, but the Pats took an injury-prone corner. It seems that at least for his first year in the NFL, the injury-prone status has followed him. He played sparingly in the first game of the season and was injured during the second game. He hadn’t seen the field since. He has been on and off the practice field but after missing two days of practice this week, the Pats finally decided that he wouldn’t be able to contribute this season. Perhaps he’ll be fully recovered next year and can contribute to the team.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Pats make a move at corner next week, which would mean releasing a player or moving someone to IR. One thing that is certain is that the Pats can’t go through the rest of this season with only four corners, two of which we know can start.