UPDATE: The Patriots officially ruled Koppen out for the rest of Monday night’s game. The ESPN game broadcast reported Koppen was on crutches after leaving the X-ray room inside Sun Life Stadium. The Boston Herald and 1030-AM in Boston reported that Koppen broke his ankle, but the severity of the break was unclear.
The Patriots could ill afford to lose an offensive lineman Monday night against the Dolphins. As football luck would have it, that’s exactly what happened.
Longtime starting Patriots center Dan Koppen was carted off the field late during the second quarter with an ankle injury and was listed as questionable to return. He was injured when Dolphins LB Karlos Dansby fell into the leg while he was planted and making a block. Team trainers held Koppen’s left foot/ankle area as he was loaded on the cart.
Right guard Dan Connolly moved over to center for the Patriots, and newly signed veteran Brian Waters came in at right guard.
The Patriots started the game with seven linemen active after signing Thomas Welch from the practice squad. Starting RT Sebastian Vollmer also is out, replaced in the starting lineup by rookie Nate Solder, New England’s first-round draft pick.
– Frank Tadych