Aside from the obvious Super Bowl double dose of "WTF?" upsets, the Giants have beaten New England in the preseason in an absurd 7 of the 9 times they’ve played since 2008, and while that’s annoying enough, the Patriots had a whole bunch of players leave the game last night with injuries – and one of them in particular was a key starter.
None of them were Teddy Bridgewater-level catastrophic, but NESN reported that all these guys left the field last night with what reporter Zack Cox called "various injuries":
"Tackle Nate Solder, linebacker Elandon Roberts, running back Tyler Gaffney and wide receivers Devin Lucien and Keshawn Martin all left Thursday’s game with various injuries, and while Roberts eventually returned to the field, the other four players remained sidelined for the duration. Solder, Gaffney and Martin all appeared to sustain leg or ankle injuries, while Lucien had to be helped off the field after absorbing a late hit to the back from Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich. Herzlich was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play."
Cox also noted that, aside from Solder, who clearly owns the left tackle spot unless someone takes it from him, all the guys that left Thursday’s game were gunning for roster spots of their own. Here’s what Bill Belichick had to say about guys like Roberts, Gaffney, Lucien, and Martin potentially making the squad (again, from NESN):
"It’s always hard," head coach Bill Belichick said of the cutdown process. "You bring 90 players to camp, and you end up with 53. That’s 37 guys (gone). Some way, somehow, you can’t keep (them all). These guys have worked really hard. They’ve done everything that we’ve asked them to do. They’ve put a lot of sweat, a lot of effort into it, but we know the National Football League is very competitive. We all know what we signed up for. "Personally, though, it’s tough, sure. It’s tough to tell a guy that you can’t be on the team when he did everything that you asked him to do. But, unfortunately, that’s the way it is."
About those roster cuts – the Patriots have until 4pm Eastern time on September 3rd, when most of us are going to be throwing down at cookouts and fantasy drafts, to cut the 75-man roster down to 53 players. After that, they’ve got 8 days before they rumble in the desert with the Arizona Cardinals.
Geez, for talking about this Arizona-New England game pretty much non-stop for the past two months, it sure came up fast.