The New England Patriots did not just see their playoff hopes go up in flames against the Miami Dolphins, they also suffered a series of injuries during their 22-12 defeat. Among the players to go down was star cornerback Stephon Gilmore, who remained on the ground following a play in the late second quarter and did not return after leaving the field.
Gilmore’s injury looked potentially devastating when it happened, and the Patriots quickly ruling him out for the remainder of the contest only strengthened this belief. However, it seems as if the reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year and his team have dodged a bullet: according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Gilmore “actually did not suffer a knee injury and the leg injury may not be as serious as it may have looked.”
While the 30-year-old will have further tests tomorrow to get additional information, this is initial report is certainly an encouraging one given how the injury looked like on the field. It obviously remains to be seen how serious the ailment turns out to be, and when Gilmore will be able to return to the field, but the initial fear — major ligament damage to the knee — appears to be off the table for now.
This is not the first injury the star defender suffered this year. Gilmore also hurt his knee during practice in late October and was subsequently forced to sit out three games. After his return to the lineup in Week 11 against the Houston Texans, he quickly resumed his role as New England’s top cornerback and one of the NFL’s best players his position has to offer.
Despite the Patriots having plenty of depth in the secondary — from possible future CB1 J.C. Jackson to up-and-coming undrafted rookie Myles Bryant — their defense as a whole is obviously is a better one with Gilmore in the fold. Will this be the case over the next two weeks, and beyond the 2020 season? Only time will tell.