The New England Patriots secondary always turns it around in the second-half of the year, and the 2012 season has been no difference with Aqib Talib being the catalyst of the group. Kyle Arrington has epitomized this turn around, as he has went from being the worst cornerback in the league over the first-half of the season to one of the best in the second-half of the year. Credit rookie Alfonzo Dennard as well for being a top performer in the defensive backfield ever since the victory over the Denver Broncos.
However, all three strong performers were injured in the 42-14 blowout victory over the Houston Texans, and all three of them played a huge role in the win. Aqib Talib limited Andre Johnson before an awkward landing on his hip in the second quarter took him out of the game. Talib also took Johnson out of the game, and Dennard continued that before he too left the game in the fourth quarter.
The good news is that Talib was able to get on the exercise bike after walking to the sideline without any help, and it looks like the injury isn’t serious. Arrington’s ability to play well on the outside after shutting down the nickel in his comfortable position over the past three weeks has been crucial, because he had previously struggled mightily on the outside this season.
Arrington was also injured in the fourth quarter, while Dennard evidently re-injured his hamstring. As a result, Marquice Cole played significant snaps for the Patriots. Arrington’s injury does not look severe at all, but it is worth monitoring Dennard’s injury. My guess is that all three of them play against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 15, but fans definitely need to monitor the injuries to the three cornerbacks very closely. It would suck to have one of those guys injured, especially since the Pats have lost plenty of players to the injury bug this season. CB Ras-I Dowling hit the IR, and Steve Gregory and Patrick Chung were out for significant chunks of time earlier this season when looking at secondary-specific injuries.
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