New England Patriots Matchup vs New York Giants About Overcoming Injuries, Not About History

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Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The injuries are the big story for both teams as the Patriots have a number of offensive linemen out injured. In addition to Cannon and Vollmer, impressive rookie guard Tre’ Jackson are out. On defense, linebacker Jamie Collins is already ruled out. Defensive end Jabaal Sheard is questionable and rookie cornerback Justin Coleman was added to the injury list this week with a hand injury.

The Patriots are paper thin at cornerback and on the offensive line. Rookie guard Shaq Mason is on the injury report with a knee injury. That leaves just a handful of players left to block for Tom Brady. Center Bryan Stork has been working at right tackle, Josh Kline can play one guard spot, rookie David Andrews is at center, and the only healthy tackle is Cameron Fleming.

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Mason may have no choice but to gut it out on Sunday due to a lack of healthy bodies. No doubt, a roster move is upcoming from the practice squad to bring another tackle on the 53-man roster (best guess is Chris Barker–he has positional versatility and played well at guard in the preseason).

In the secondary, the addition of Justin Coleman to the injury report is a concern as the Patriots have just four cornerbacks on their roster. Coleman has been a pleasant surprise showing growth during the season while mitigating the loss of veteran cornerback Tarell Brown. Behind Coleman the Patriots just have little used Rashaan Melvin who was released by Baltimore earlier in the season.

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Jamie Collins is out at linebacker and that is a huge break for the Giants. Collins makes impactful plays seemingly every drive as the freakishly athletic linebacker is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous linebackers in football. Without him, it allows teams to focus on Dont’a Hightower and limit his effectiveness and disruptiveness. Jonathan Freeny is a solid backup who will not hurt the defense, but the drop-off from Collins to Freeny is dramatic.