Backup DE Mike Wright on IR
Vrabel, Sanders, Watson, Neal Also Hurt
The New England Patriots placed backup defensive end Mike Wright on injured reserve, ending the third-year player's season. Wright sat out the second half of New England's 34-13 win Sunday over Pittsburgh. The team reported Wright's injury as a foot.
Wright plays defensive end and nose tackle. Recently he has played mostly nose tackle behind starter Vince Wilfork. This leaves the Patriots with starters Wilfork, and ends Richard Seymour and Ty Warren. Defensive end Jarvis Green is the top backup, followed by second-year player Le Kevin Smith, who, like Wright, plays nose and end.
The loss of Wright may affect New England's ability to play 4-3 defense, which they did effectively against Pittsburgh.
The Patriots have had defensive linemen Rashad Moore and Bobby Hamilton in for workouts this week.
The Patriots had a walk-through Wednesday and did not have a full practice; thus, they have no official injury report for yesterday.
Meanwhile, the team practiced outdoors in the snow in Gillette Stadium on Thursday with the expectation of severe weather Sunday.
Offensive lineman Billy Yates did not practice. Guard Stephen Neal, who has been off-and-on with a shoulder injury all season, is back on the report with that shoulder. He was limited in practice. Safety James Sanders, linebacker Mike Vrabel and tight end Ben Watson also missed portions of practice.
Four of New Jersey's wide receivers were listed on the Rats report. Starers Lavernaues Coles and Jerricho Cotchery and second-stringer Justin McCareins all missed portions of practice Wednesday and Thursday, and Brad Smith participated fully in practice both days.
Other notables include starting quarterback Kellen Clemens, starting tight end Chris Baker, and starting nose tackle Dewayne Robertson.