Banged-up Pats continue to adapt, win

During the 2003 season in which they won a Super Bowl, the Patriots set an unofficial NFL record for the number of games that potential starters missed due to injury.

New England broke the record the very next season. And now the first-place Patriots are back at it again.

New England never, ever, EVER will draw attention to it. But this space will. Hard not to.

Once linebacker Adalius Thomas is added to the season-ending, injured-reserve list, which could happen as early as Thursday, New England will have an astounding 11 players on IR. Those 11 players would have started about 50 games by now. It also means the Patriots have upwards of $20 million on injured reserve this season.

And it’s more than just quarterback Tom Brady, the best player in football, who is out for the year. It is a list far more extensive.

The other Patriots already on injured reserve:

  • Running back Laurence Maroney
  • Offensive tackle Ryan O’Callaghan
  • Offensive tackle Anthony Clement
  • Offensive tackle Barry Stokes
  • Defensive lineman Kenny Smith
  • Linebacker Shawn Crable
  • Linebacker Bo Rudd
  • Safety Rodney Harrison
  • Safety Tank Williams

This also does not include guard Stephen Neal, who spent the first half of the season on the Physically Unable to Perform List, or running backs Lamont Jordan and Sammy Morris and defensive end Jarvis Green, who have missed extensive time due to assorted injuries.

Yet, all the ultra-resilient Patriots do is win. Over and over.

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