Patriots lose key pass rusher to injury against the Raiders

New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys
New England Patriots v Dallas Cowboys / Richard Rodriguez/GettyImages

The long list of injuries continues to pile up for the Patriots, as rookie pass rusher Keion White exited the Raiders game in the first quarter on Sunday.

After leaving the field under his own power and heading to the medical tent, White left the field and was seen going into the Patriots' locker room. Not long later, the team announced he was downgraded to out with a head injury.

It's the latest blow to the defense as they are already dealing with the losses of Defensive Rookie of the Year frontrunner Christian Gonzalez and defensive mainstay Matthew Judon. White was said to be the one to step up in Judon's absence, but his latest injury throws a wrench into that plan.

With White out for the remainder of the game, that leaves Ja'Whaun Bentley and Josh Uche as the leading pass rushers left. Both have yet to repeat their noteworthy performances of last season but have a good opportunity to get back on track and prove themselves with so many of their teammates injured.

The problem then becomes if they will actually do it.

The defense has played better than the offense this season, without a doubt, but a noticeable decline has occurred since Gonzalez and Judon have been placed on IR. It's expected that would happen when two of the best players get hurt, leaving significant voids to make up for. However, those needing to pick up where they left off have yet to do that.

There's plenty of time left in the season for things to pick up since Judon is not expected back until December if he is able to return this season, and hopefully, that's exactly what happens. The Patriots' offense doesn't appear to be getting any better, so if the defense can turn things around, that's one aspect of the team that would be exciting to watch again.