The Patriots are down to 75 players on their roster, but to get to 75, the team suffered a major blow to their secondary, as starting right cornerback Leigh Bodden was placed on injured reserve.
The team's #1 cornerback was suffering from an early-camp knee injury, but finally returned to action against the Rams last Thursday, and from the looks of it, had a solid game. Bodden isn't an elite cornerback, but he's the closest thing that the Patriots have had to Ty Law, since Ty Law. He plays physical, is smart, and is solid against the running game. Losing Bodden is a really big blow for this Patriots team.
With Bodden out for the season, the Patriots will rely on rookie cornerback Devin McCourty to start. McCourty has looked good in the preseason, but you really have to wonder if he is ready for a full-time starting role. If the Patriots can't generate a solid pass rush this season, things will become that much harder for this young secondary, which now has a combined five seasons of NFL experience.
Of course, the team may look to the free agent market or a trade to bolster their cornerback core, but no one they sign will be able to match Bodden's talent. However, if the team does opt to sign a veteran cornerback, I would expect the team to go after a bigger, physical cornerback who can play the run well, jam receivers, and play the jump ball. The team could opt to look at Shawn Springs, whom they left things open with following his release earlier this offseason. Dare I mention Ty Law? The Patriots could also opt to keep an extra cornerback from their current group, meaning Terrence Wheatley could stick around.
The Patriots also placed three others on injured reserve; Josh Barrett, Bret Lockett, and Darryl Richard. None of these three are too surprising. The team also released cornerback Terrence Johnson to bring the team officially down to 75.