The New England Patriots have suffered multiple injuries during yesterday's game against the Miami Dolphins. The most severe of which happened on the first series, when special teams ace Nate Ebner carried a fake punt for a new set of downs but injured his knee in the process. The veteran quickly left for the locker room and was ruled out for the remainder of the contest.
Earlier today, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Ebner's injury was “believed to be season-ending”, now it appears the move will be made official (per the Boston Globe's Jim McBride):
League source also confirms #Patriots safety Nate Ebner will be placed on IR after suffering knee injury vs. Dolphins. Was having another All-Pro caliber season.
Ebner will be the second Patriot to be placed on injured reserve within the upcoming hours or days: McBride also reported that tight end Martellus Bennett is headed for the list. As a result, both players will end their season on the sidelines.
As for Ebner, the Patriots will need all hands aboard to replace him. After all, the 28-year old leads the team in special teams tackles with eight and is a regular contributor on all four special teams units as a gunner and the personal protector of punter Ryan Allen. Look for the team's other core special teamers – Jordan Richards, Marquis Flowers and Jonathan Jones, as Rich Hill found out – to take over some of Ebner's responsibilities.