The New England Patriots played their most complete game of the season on Sunday, dismantling the visiting New York Jets from start to finish. The Patriots had outscored their division rivals 54-13 when the final whistle was blown, but not all was as perfect as the score might make it look like. New England, after all, suffered some high-profile injuries in Week 7.
Let’s take a closer look at who got hurt, and what it might mean in the grand scheme of things.
LB Kyle Van Noy: Van Noy briefly went into the blue medical tent in the second quarter, but no injury was announced by the club. The veteran linebacker returned to the game and ended up playing a team-high 62 of 65 defensive snaps.
S Devin McCourty: Two of the biggest names on the field were lost with 12:31 left in the second quarter: Jets quarterback Zach Wilson and New England safety Devin McCourty. While Wilson strained the PCL in his right knee, McCourty suffered an abdominal injury while trying to go for an interception on the play. The Patriots’ team captain and defensive on-field signal caller did not return, but he did stay on the sidelines for the remainder of the game after emerging from the blue medical tent — an encouraging sign.
DT Carl Davis: Davis suffered a wrist injury and was announced as questionable to return to the game in the second period. However, the big-bodied defensive tackle did eventually reenter the contest and end it with 24 snaps played: 23 on defense and another in the kicking game.
TE Jonnu Smith: He did not suffer any obvious injury on the field, but Smith was unable to finish the contest. His last snap came with 9:48 to go in the second quarter, and he was later announced as questionable to return with a shoulder injury. The high-priced free agency addition, who was in the middle of his most productive game of the season, was eventually ruled out for the remainder of the contest in the second half. It was a disappointing end to a strong performance that saw Smith gain 57 yards on three touches.
LB Harvey Langi: Langi remained on the ground on a kickoff late in the second quarter. The linebacker, who has carved out a prominent special teams role this season, was rolled up from behind by teammate Justin Bethel. While he did walk off under his own power, he was later announced as questionable to return due to a knee injury. Eventually, he was ruled out for the remainder of the game.
G Shaq Mason: Shaq Mason was on the field for Damien Harris’ second rushing touchdown of the day; he helped push the line of scrimmage and later joined the celebration in the end zone. When the Patriots offense returned to the field for its next drive, however, Mason was not in the lineup: James Ferentz had taken his place, while he was announced as questionable to return with an abdominal injury. Mason did stay on the sideline, however.
WR N’Keal Harry: Following his spectacular 28-yard catch late in the fourth quarter, Harry appeared to favor his left shoulder. He was not on the field for the final five snaps of the day — including three kneel-downs — but was spotted on the sideline celebrating with his teammates.
What this means for the Patriots
While a lot of players went down against the Jets, the majority of the injuries appear to be of the minor variety. Devin McCourty, Shaq Mason and N’Keal Harry all remained on the sidelines, for example, while Kyle Van Noy and Carl Davis eventually returned to the game.
The two big question marks are Jonnu Smith and Harvey Langi. Smith’s injury is a bit of a mystery given that there was no obvious moment that saw him hurt his shoulder. Langi’s was more obvious, for comparison, but the two are in the same boat: they were both ruled out by the team and will be worth keeping a close eye on moving forward.
New England will release its first injury report of the week on Wednesday, and it should give us a better indication about those two players and the others on the roster as well.