The New England Patriots fought hard to earn a first round bye in the playoffs, largely because they really need it. This is a team that has been dealing with injuries all year long, and while a lot of them have been season ending, there are still many Patriots currently dealing with an injury, and will benefit greatly from this bye week.
Dobson hurt his foot a few weeks back against the Broncos, and after making a return last week against the Ravens, he re-injured that foot on Sunday versus Buffalo.
Vereen sustained a groin injury last week in Baltimore, but it appears that he will be okay, as he not only played against the Bills, but he made a big impact for New England.
If there is a tougher dude in the NFL than this guy, I would like to know who he is. Mankins has proven throughout his career that he is tough (played through a torn ACL a few years back), and we received more proof on Sunday, after his latest ‘heroic’ act. Mankins left the game early in the second quarter with what appeared to be a serious ankle injury. However he later returned, and was his usual feisty self. It was reported after the game that he had a walking boot in his locker, which implies that this bye week will help him tremendously as well.
D-Mac suffered a head injury last week in Baltimore, and it was bad enough to keep him out of the season finale against Buffalo. McCourty is arguably the most important player remaining on the Patriots defense, so hopefully this bye week helps him get back to 100%, so he can be effective in the divisional round.
Boyce injured his ankle in week 15 against Miami, and he has yet to return to the practice field. I don’t know how serious his injury is, but the Pats could use him outside of the numbers in the playoffs, especially if Dobson remains sidelined.