Oct 12, 2014; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) is taken down by Buffalo Bills defensive end Manny Lawson (91) and defensive end Jarius Wynn (92) after throwing a pass during the 2nd half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Patriots beat the Bills 37-22. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
As the New England Patriots are finishing their weeks of just preseason practices and preparing for their first preseason game later this week, the team is already managing a number of players not fit to practice due to injury. Injuries are already making headlines around the camp as key performers are already having issues staying on the field.
Chief among the injuries is the concern for top wide receivers Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell. LaFell has not practiced yet for the Patriots and just shed his walking boot and will be working to get back up to speed. Edelman seemed to hurt his ankle last week and was seen being attended to by medical staff. He has been seen during stretching since, but he has not been participating in practices again.
Nov 30, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Aaron Dobson (17) during the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
With a chance to step-up with LaFell injured, third year wide receiver Aaron Dobson was a star of the first week of training camp. However, his hamstring tightened up and he has been out as well. Without LaFell and Edelman, the Patriots are missing about 2,000 yards receiving from their offense. Add in injuries to running backs LeGarrette Blount and Travaris Cadet, center Bryan Stork, and rookie defensive tackle Malcom Brown, and the injuries are beginning to pile up.
Injuries are just one aspect of the game that can derail a season. Suspensions, ineffectiveness, slow learning curves and poor offseason decisions can hurt a team as well. For the Patriots, they have persevered through all of these in the Bill Belichick era and yet seem to constantly be in the hunt for the Super Bowl.
Earlier at MusketFire.com we examined three reasons why the Patriots will return to the Super Bowl. Read on for three reasons why although the New England Patriots are a favorite to return to the Super Bowl after the 2015 season, they will NOT return to the big game after this season.
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