New England Patriots Links 9/29/09 - Ankle Sprain for Vince Wilfork Was All Wright; Not Serious

Sammy Morris rushes for a first down on a fourth-and-one play deep inside New England territory.

Ian Rapoport writes that a source told him Vince Wilfork was diagnosed with left ankle sprain.

The injury, which occurred in the second quarter of Sunday’s 26-10 win against the Atlanta Falcons when DT Mike Wright accidentally stepped on, or rolled over on, Wilfork's leg, is not considered to be a long-term issue. It’s too early to tell if the Pro Bowler could play this Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens.

The fact that the injury is not serious is good news on both an organizational and individual level. Wilfork, scheduled to earn a base salary of $2.2 million, is in the final year of his contract.

A serious injury not only would have been debilitating for the defense, it also would have killed Wilfork’s contract leverage.

Shalise Manza Young asserts that risky 4th-down play turned the tide for the Patriots.  Fred Taylor thinks it sent a message to the Falcon's defense.

"It pumps you up, in my opinion, from the standpoint of once you execute and once you make it, looking across the field it really (ticks) the defensive players off and you get to put a little smile on your face," Taylor said. "When they’re thinking, ‘Hey, we make this stop, we get to get back on the bench and rest for a while,’ but when you make it you get the last laugh, so to speak."

Ed Bouchette (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) Mike Tomlin spent time between the Super Bowl and training camp studying offenses in the NFL and found one he would like the Steelers to emulate: the New England Patriots.

"I think the great teams are capable of winning in many forms or fashion and playing to their strengths on a week-to-week basis based on a matchup," Tomlin said yesterday. "I thought a great deal about that, frankly, this offseason.

"You study a team like New England, and they walk into a stadium offensively, and week to week they can be whatever they choose to be. They can beat you in three wides, four wides, three tight ends, and it makes them very difficult to prepare for and ultimately beat."

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